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lUntory of tin* IVopta 

of the United StatcH During 

Lincoln'*** A<tmittitttrati<m 

Hwtory of th* IVojl^ of 

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Confederate Provisional Government 1 

Government organized 2 

Lincoln takes the Oath of Office ..." 3 

His policy towards the South 4 

As viewed in the North 5 

In the Border States 5 9 g 

In the South Q 

Lincoln's Cabinet Not g 

The promise to hold the forts 4^ 7 

The case of Sumter 7 s 3 

Believed it would be abandoned 9 

Scott consulted 9 ? IQ 

The Cabinet consulted 10 

A Confederate Commissioner 11 

His instructions 11 

His view of the situation 12, 13 

Sends an agent to Seward 13 

The te>rms demanded 14 

Seward refuses to receive the commission 14 

Justices Nelson and Campbell assist 14, 15 

Campbell sure Sumter will be evacuated 15, 16 

Baron Stoeckl assists 16 

Fox and Lamon sent to Sumter <. . 16, 17 

Lincoln decides to provision Sumter 18 

Seward proposes to run the Government 18, 19 

Lincoln replies to the "Thoughts" 19, 20 

Pickens to be notified 20 

The demand for official recognition 20 

Seward's refusal 20 

Pickets notified 21 

Beauregard calls out the reserves ........ 21 

The Northern press on Sumter 22 

Beauregard to demand evacuation 22 




The demand made 23 

And refused by Anderson .23 

The first gun fired 23 

The bombardment . 24 

The fleet with relief arrives 25 

The second day of bombardment 25, 26 

The attempt to relieve 27 

The surrender * 27 

Rejoicing in Charleston 28 



Excitement in the North 29, 30 

Newspaper baiting in Philadelphia 30 

And in New York City 30 

Opposition to war 30, 31 

Pledges of loyalty " 31, 32 

Lincoln calls for troops . . . . '. 32 

Responses of the loyal Governors 33 

The Border-Slave States reply 34, 35 

The South welcomes war 35, 36 

And calls for volunteers 36 

Davis offers letters of marque 36 

Virginia adopts Ordinance of Secession 37 

Harpers Ferry captured. 37, 38 

Popular response to Lincoln's call 38 

Volunteering in New York 38, 39 

How the regiments were raised 38, 39 

Volunteering in Philadelphia 39, 40 

Aid for volunteers and their families 40, 41 

Millions for relief 41 

The first troops to reach Washington 41 

The 6th Massachusetts mobbed in Baltimore .... 42, 43 

Small's Brigade mobbed 43 

The South demands the capture of Washington . . . . . 44, 45 

Means of Defense . 45, 46 

The citizens alarmed 46 

Lincoln proclaims blockade . . 47 

The Capitol defended 47 

Lee resigns . 48 

Army and Navy officers resign 48 

Troops reach Annapolis . . . 48 

G-osport Navy Yard lost 49 

Why don't they come? 49 

The 7th New York arrives 



The 8th Massachusetts arrives 50 

The South demands the capture of Washington . . . 50, 51 
Confederate Congress recognizes a state of war .... 52 
And makes Richmond its Capital 52, 



Virginia gathers an army 53 

Lee, Jackson, Johnston in command 53 

Western Virginia repudiates secession 53, 54 

Forms a loyal government 54 

Organizes a State government 55 

And as West Virginia enters the Union 55 

Kentucky struggles for neutrality 56 

Tennessee secedes 57, 58 

The struggle to keep Missouri in the Union 58, 59 

The affair at LindelFs Grove 60 

The fight at Wilson's Creek 61 

Arkansas and North Carolina secede 61 

Maryland opposes the war 62 

Butler, without orders, enters Baltimore 62 

Confederate Territory of Arizona 63, 64 

Fighting along the Rio Grande 65 

Secessionists in California 66 

And in Nevada 66, 67 

The situation in California 67, 68 

New Mexico to be recovered 69 

The California Column ,. : . 69, 70 



Virginians vote for secession 71 

The Union army crosses the Potomac 71 

Beauregard at Manassas Junction 71 

Sketch of him 72, 73 

Condition of Ms army 73, 74, 75 

Sketch of McClellan 75, 76 

Occupies western Virginia 76, 77 

The demand for a battle . 77, 78 

McDowell advances 79 

Beauregard calls Johnston from Winchester 79 

Patterson fails to hold him 79, 80 

The battle of Bull Run opens .81 

"Stonewall" Jackson 81 



The Union Army Tbeaten 82 

The flight 82, 83 

Accounts of the flight 83, 84, 85 

Washington alarmed 86 

Causes ascribed for defeat 87 

Influence of Sunday 87, 88 

Joy in the South 88, 89 



The Union broken forever 9Q 

Lord Russell and Palmerston think so 90, 91 

Saturday Review thinks so 91 

London Times thinks so 92 

Consul Bunch on the new Republic 92 

Sketches of the Southern leaders 93, 94 

Lord Lyons' estimate of Seward 94, 95 

Gregory brings up recognition " 96 

Question of mediation 96 

The Times on Lincoln's call for troops 96, 97 

The Post on the War 97, 98 

The Daily News defends the North 98 

Great Britain and France will act together 99 

Russell meets Yancey and Rost 99 

Gregory asks three questions 100 

Russell promises belligerent rights to the South . . . 100, 101 

Belligerent rights granted 102 

What is a lawful blockade? 103 

Are Southern privateers pirates? 103, 104 

Adams on the Queen's Proclamation 105 

Russell defends it 104, 105 

Seward on it 105, 106 

The British press on Bull Run 105-108 

The Union destroyed 106-108 

Bulwer Lytton expects to see four Republics . . . . 108, 109 

The South must be recognized , . 109 

Disraeli on "Jonathan" . . . 110 

John Bright on public opinion 110, 111 



MeEenanis fear the privateers 112 

And eall for protection 112, 113 



Condition of the Union navy ......... 113 

Southern ports "blockaded ......... 113, 114 

The Southern privateers .......... 114 

Capture of the Savdnncbh . . , , ...... 114 

Brings up the question of piracy ....... 114, 115 

Davis' threat ............ 115 

Capture of thei Jeff Davis .......... 115 

Her crew found guilty of piracy ........ 116 

Davis carries out his threat . . . . ..... 116 

The Port Royal expedition ........ 116-118 

Confederate navy .......... 118, 119 

Bullock sent to England to get cruisers ...... 119 

North sent to get ironclads ......... 119 

Bullock contracts for Oreto and "290" ...... 120 

Bullock and Huse buy arms ........ 120, 121 

Ocracoke Inlet blocked with stone-laden hulks . . . . 121, 122 

Charleston harbor blocked with stone-laden hulks . . . .122 

England denounces the acts ........ 122-124 

Lord Eussell on the Charleston hulks ....... 125 

Lord Lyons protests ........... 125 

France protests ............ 126 

Seward answers ............ 127 

Blockade cuts off England's cotton supply . . . . * . .128 

Suffering caused by .......... 128, 129 

Measures of relief .......... 129, 130 

New York merchants send food ....... 130, 131 

Cotton burned in the South ........ 131-133 



Yancey, Host and Mann .......... 134 

Their instructions .......... 134, 135 

Their interview with Russell ......... 135 

Host goes to France; sees DeMorney ..... . 136 

Russell refuses Yancey and Mann a second interview . . . 137 
The commissioners see Thouvenel ....... 137, 138 

And bring up blockade with Russell ....... 138 

Are replaced by Mason and Slidell ....... 139 

Mason and Slidell taken from the Trent ...... 140 

Precedents for the act ......... 140, 141 

Popular approval ........... 142 

Opinion of law officers of the Crown ...... 143, 144 

The dispatch to Lord Lyons ........ 144, 145 

Excitement in England ......... . 145 

An excited press ............. 146 



Troops sent to Canada 147 

Ships of war made ready 148 

Canada prepared for war . 148 

England's demand 149 

Lyons delivers it to Seward 150 

The Cabinet considers it 150, 151 

The letter from Thouvenel 151 

Seward's reply to Lyons 152 

Mason and Slidell released 153 

Their journey to England 153 

Rejoicing in England 154 

Lord Duffer in. Lord Derby, Disraeli on the Trent affair . 154, 155 

British troops in Maine 155, 156 



Travel not interrupted 157 

Confederate Post-Office organized 157, 158 

The mail stopped 158 

Adams Express carries letters 158 

American Letter Express Company 159 

Correspondence "by flag of truce 160 

Disloyal newspapers 1$1 

Are excluded from the mail 161 

Disloyal citizens 161 

Writ of habeas corpus suspended . . 162 

John Merryman arrested 162 

Chief Justice Taney issues a writ 162 

Delivery of Merryman refused 163 

Taney denies the right of Lincoln to suspend the writ . . .163 

Baltimore Police Commissioners arrested 163 

Arrest of members of Maryland Legislature 164 

Fort Lafayette as a prison 165 

Stanton on arrest of disloyal citizens 165 

Movement for a Union party 166, 167 

Origin of the name "Copperhead" 167 

Union conventions 167, 168 

Business depressed 169 

Bonds of seceded States 170 

Failure of Western Bank . 170, 171 

Cost of the war . 171 

Preparations to meet it , 172 

The Treasury borrows from banks 172, 173 

Specie payment suspended 173 174 

The first legal tender act . . . . 174 


"Greenbacks" and "Five-Twenties" 174 

How Jay.Cooke sold the "Five-Twenties" 175 

Premium on gold and silver 17 5 

Currency famine . . 175 -j^ 

Tickets and shin plasters ' 176 

Postage stamps as money 17g 

Cities issue change notes 177 

The Currency Act 177 

Postage currency 17g 

Dire need of small change 179 130 

The rush for postage currency 180 181 

Redemption of stamps used as currency 18 1 

Tokens or Copperhead currency 182 



MeClellan in command at Washington , 133 

Condition of the beaten army 18^ 

MeClellan fears Beauregard will attack 184 

Becomes Commander- in-Chief 184 

Lincoln orders a general advance 185 

Condition of the Confederate army ...... 185 186 

Confederates resort to conscription ..... 137 

But allow exemptions 187 

Governor of Georgia protests 187 188 

Davis answers him lg 

South Carolina wants more exempts 188 189 

Confederacy buys arms in Europe 189 190 

The Federal Government buys arms in Europe . . . . 190 191 

Amount bought 192 

Burnside captures Roanoke Island 192 193 

Kentucky invaded 193 

The Confederate line in Kentucky . .194 

The line attacked by Thomas at Mill Spring 194 

Flag-Officer Foote breaks it at Fort Henry . . . . .194 

And Grant at Fort Donelson 195 

Excitement in Nashville 195 

The North rejoices 196 

Davis inaugurated; his speech * . f 197 

Andrew Johnson, Military Governor of Tennessee .... 198 

Sketch of Johnson 198 ? 199 

MeClellan advances 199 

The MerrimaG and her work 200 

The Momtor 201 

The great fight , 201 



Alarm in Washington 201, 202 

England alarmed 202, 203 

And reconstructs her navy 203 

Effect of the battle in France 203, 204 

McClellan moves to Fortress Monroe 204 

And lays siege to Yorktown 204 

Grant advances to Shiloh 205 

Is defeated the first day 205 

Defeats the enemy on the second day 205 

Farragut captures New Orleans . 206, 207 

Butler in command 207 

Issues Order No. 28 regarding women 208 

Palmerston denounces it to Adams 208 

Members of House of Commons denounce it 209 

Palmerston denounces it in House of Lords 210 

His strange correspondence with Adams 210, 211 

Davis outlaws Butler 211 

Butler is replaced by Banks 212 



Yorktown and Norfolk abandoned 213 

Battle of Williamsburg 214 

Alarm in Eichmond 214, 215 

McClellan before Richmond 215, 216 

Banks driven down the Shenandoah 216 

Richmond prepares for defense 217 

Battle of Fair Oaks or Seven Pines 218 

Johnston wounded, Lee in command 219 

Stuart rides around McClellan's army 219 

Battle of Mechanicsville 219, 220 

Battle of Gaines's Mill 220 

Battle of Allen's Farm, or Savage's Station 220 

Battle of Frayser's Farm, or Glendale 220 

Battle of Malvern Hill 220 

McClellan on the James River 220 

McClellan blames Lincoln for defeat 221, 222 

Lincoln's reply 222 

Lincoln appeals to loyal Governors to offer troops . . . 223, 224 

The offer made and accepted 224, 225 

Call for 300,000 volunteers 225 

The response too slow . " 225 

A draft ordered 225 

Aliens alarmed 226 

Citiaens start for foreign lands 226 



The ports closed 226, 227 

How tlie draft was made , 227, 228 

Substitute brokerage unlawful ,.,,.... 228 

Efforts to raise troops without a draft ...... 228, 229 

Bounties offered 229, 230 

Resistance to the draft 230, 231 

Army of Virginia formed under Pope 231 

Lee beats him in the second battle of Bull Run 232 

Care of the wounded 233 

Call for nurses . 233, 234 

What happened to- them? ...... .234,235 

Surgeons and medical supplies sent 236 

McClellan in command at Washington 237 

Kirby Smith's raid 237 

Alarm in Cincinnati 237, 238 

Bragg threatens Louisville 238, 239 



Lee enters Maryland 240 

Outfits at Frederick 241 

Lee appeals to Marylanders 241 

Frightens the farmers of Pennsylvania 242 

Battle of South Mountain 243 

Battle of Antietam 243 

Fugitive slaves cause trouble 244 

Butler meets the issue. 244-246 

Cameron approves his action 246, 247 

Fremont's proclamation 247 

Lincoln orders it changed 248 

Proposes emancipation with compensation 249 

Appeals to the Border States representatives 250 

Slavery abolished in the Territories 250 

And in the District of Columbia . . 251 

Hunter's proclamation 251 

Congress will not appropriate money for emancipation . . . 252 

Lincoln proposes to free the slaves of rebels 252 

Greeley's "Prayer of Twenty Millions" 253 

Lincoln answers him 254 

Proclamation of September 24 255, 256 

Received coldly 256, 257 

Republican reverses . - 258 

Lord Lyons on the Democrats 259 

Denunciation of Lincoln 260, 261 

McClellan does not pursue Lee ......... 262 

Finally he movea to Virginia * . . 263 



And is removed "by Lincoln 263 

Burnside at Fredericksburg . 264 

The slaughter 265 

The people angry 265 

The Cabinet crisis 266 

Emancipation proclamation 267 

Reception of it in the North 269 

In the South 270 

Attempt to compensate Missouri if her slaves were set free . .271 

Gloom in the North 271 

The national debt 271 

Evils of hank-note currency 272 

The National Bank Act 273 

Opposition to it 274 

The $900,000,000 loan 275 

Fractional paper currency" 275 



Yancey on British feeling 276 

Mason reads his instructions to Russell 277 

What is a valid blockade ? 278 

Parliament discusses blockade 279 

Gregory and Forster on its effectiveness 280 

Mason protests against Russell's effective blockade .... 282 

The Government questioned on mediation 282 

If made, Adams is not to receive it 283 

Mason asks recognition 284 

Russell answers that the time has not arrived 285 

Russell and Palmerston favor recognition 285 

The press calls for recognition . . . . . . .286 

The British Cabinet consider mediation 287 

Gladstone's speech 288 

Sir G. C. Lewis replies 289 

John Bright on the speech ... 290 

The press on emancipation 292 

Propaganda in England 293 

The Index established 294 

Slidell and Napoleon 295 

Slidell demands recognition 296 

Napoleon proposes mediation to Russia and England .... 297 

And to the United States 297, 298 

Seward declines to consider it , 298 

The Senate resolution . 299 

Napoleon allows vessels of war to be built 300 

Propaganda in France 301 





Runners fitted out in England 303 

Adams protests 304 

Russell will do nothing 304, 305 

Nassau a resort of runners 306 

How the runs were made 306 

Who engaged in the trade 307 

Was the blockade rigid? 308 

Confederate vessels building in England 309 

Cruise of the ftumter 309, 310 

Launch of the Oreto or Florida 311 

Is seized at Nassau; reaches Mobile 311 

The Enrico, or Alabama, escapes 311, 312 

Cruise of the Alabama 313, 317 

The Kear surge sinks her 317 

Semmes rescued by the Deerhound 31 8, 319 

The Shenandoah destroys whalers 319, 320 

The Florida escapes from Mobile 320 

Her commander makes a cruiser of the Clarence .... 320, 321 
Commander of the Clarence makes a cruiser of the Tacony . . 321 

And then of the Archer 321 

And captures a revenue^ cutter 321 

The Tallahassee off the New England coast 323 

The Florida seized at Bahia 323, 324 

Seward disavows the act 324 



Provisional Government and the States issue paper money . . 326 

Postage stamps and shinplaster currency 326 

Profiteers, extortioners 327 

Cost of food 328, 329 

Cost of paper, dry goods, clothes * 329, 330 

Shoes, wooden and home made 330, 331 

The army needs shoes and clothes 331 

Carpets mad into blankets 332 

Rails, arms, were needed 333 

Sash weights of lead for bullets 334 

Bells, to make cannon 334, 335 

Substitutes for medicines 335 

For vegetables ajid dyes 335 

For tea and coffee 336 

xviil CONTENTS. 


Wheat "becomes scarce . . 33 

Judge Gholson denounces speculators 337 

Governor Vance denounces tliem 338 

Cost of living in Richmond 338 

Bread riot in Richmond 339 

Prices of gold and of food 339, 340 

Scarcity of writing paper 340 

Impressment of Food Act 340, 341 

Congress begs farmers to raise more food 1 341 

Davis appeals to them 341 

The Tithing Act 342 

Attempt to reduce the currency 343 

The price of gold 343 

The price of food 344 



British press on emancipation 346 

Anti-slavery meetings in England 347 

Russell on the Emancipation Proclamation 347 

Lord Derby on mediation and recognition ..;... 348 

Disraeli on the United States 348, 349 

And on Gladstone's speech 349' 

Adams is discouraged 349, 350 

Forster complains of ship building by the Confederates . . . 350 
Solicitor-General explains the Foreign Enlistment Act . . . 350 

Arms purchased by the United States 350, 351 

Floating the Erlanger loan 351, 352 

The Alexandra launched . . . 352 

Adams protests and she is seized 352 

Complaint of purchase of arms by the United States .... 353 

Mock sale of the Laird rams . 354 

The Alexandra- in Court 354, 355 

Southern clubs formed 355 

Their activities 355, 356 

Roebuck's motion to obtain recognition 350 

Anti-slavery societies petition against recognition , . . .356 
Roebuck hears Napoleon is opposed to recognition . . . 356, 357 

Slidell secures an interview for him 357 

Roebuck tells Parliament about the interview 358 

Mason ordered to close his mission 359 

Benjamin bitter against England 359,' 360 

Who owned the Laird rams? 300 

The rams launched 360 

Adams' "This is war," letter 361, 362 



Russell orders the rams seized . . . ., .363 
The vessels at Nantes and Bordeaux ....... 3^4 

Papers show they are for the Confederacy ...... 364 

License to arm them revoked ......... 364 

Slidell appeals to Napoleon ......... 365 

Is told the ironclads cannot go to sea ....... 365 

Corvettes and rams are sold ......... 366 

Parliament discusses American affairs ....... 366 

Case of the G-eorgia .......... 366, 367 

The Attorney-General on ship registers ....... 368 

Colbden on injury done American commerce ...... 368 

Number of vessels transferred to British registry . . . 368, 369 
An effort to bring about mediation ...... 369-371 

The Irish emigrants ....... . . . .372 

Said to be recruits for the Union army ...... 372 

Benjamin sends agents to stop migration ...... 373 

Their work in Ireland ......... 373-376 



Rosecrans in command in Tennessee ....... .., . 377 

Hooker replaces Burnside .......... 378 

DuPont fails to capture Fort Sumter ...... 378, 379 

The Army of the Potomac under Hooker ..... 379, 380 

Is beaten at Chancellorsville ..... . 380, 381 

Vallandigham in Ohio ......... 381, 382 

Arrested by order of Burnside ....>... 382 

Sent, by Lincoln, to the Confederates . . . . . . . 383 

Lee's Army crosses the Potomac ., . . . ... . . .383 

Chambersburg entered . . . . . .,>.,. . .384 

Lincoln calls for troops ....... ,. 384 

Governor of Maryland calls for troops ....... 385 

Excitement in Harrisburg ......... 386, 387 

Chambersburg again entered and looted ...... 388 

All Lee's Army in Pennsylvania ........ 388 

McClellan wanted .......... 388-390 

Early exacts ransom from York ........ 390 

Plight of the farmers ........... 391 

Excitement in Philadelphia ........ 391, 392, 

Hooker replaced by Meade ......... 393 

The first day at Gettysburg ........ . 394 

The second day ............ 395 

The people know nothing of the battles ....... 396 

The third day at Gettysburg ....... 396, 397 

Kckett's charge ............ 397 



Retreat of Lee 397 

Wild rumors of the battles 39S 

Lee safe in Virginia 3 " 

Lincoln displeased with Meade 399 > 40 

Origin of Gettysburg Cemetery 40 

Lincoln's great address 400 > 401 

arant before Vicksburg 401 > 402: 

He cannot take it 403L 

Moves his army south of it 4 " 

Porter's fleet runs past the batteries 402 

Grant's campaign south of Vicksburg 402, 403 

The siege and capture 403 

Condition of the city 403 



The new Enrollment Act 404 

Exemptions 404 

Fear of resistance to a draft 405, 406 

Resistance begins 406 

The draft in New York City 40T 

The riot 407, 410 

Action of the merchants 409, 410 

Seymour addresses the rioters 410 

Was the Conscription Act constitutional? 410, 411 

Mob violence elsewhere . .' 411 

New York City raises money to buy exemptions 412 

Archbishop Hughes addresses the rioters 413 

The damage done by the rioters 413 

The draft in Philadelphia . 413, 414 

In New Hampshire 414 

In Vermont 415 

In Indiana 415 

Number of men drafted 415 

Supreme Court in Pennsylvania on the Conscription Act . . 415, 416 

Lincoln calls for 300,000 volunteers 416 

And orders a draft 416 

Bounties for volunteers 416 

Conscription evaded in the South ..... . 417 

Defects of the Conscription Act 418 

Amendments made 41 8, 419 

Governor of Virginia objects 419 

Conflicts with the South Carolina Enrollment Act . . . 419, 420 

Davis on State rights 420 

Deserters 420, 481 



Age for conscription extended 422 

Lee's order to deserters 422 

Davis appeals 422, 423 

Desertion continues 423 

Deserters in North Carolina :..,.. 424 



Rosecrans forces Bragg back to Chattanooga 425 

The battle of Chickamauga 425, 426 

Rosecrans falls "back to Chattanooga 426 

The siege 426 

Grant in command 426 

Lookout Mountain 427 

Missionary Ridge 427 

Knoxville 428 

Bragg removed; Johnston in command 429 

Lieutenant-General Grant 420 

Joins the Army of the Potomac 429 

His plan for the grand advance 429, 430 

Lincoln orders a draft for 500,000 men 430 

The new Enrollment Act 431 

The draft postponed; and a draft for 200,000 in addition to the 

500,000 ordered 431 

A false proclamation published 432, 433 

Offices of New York World and Journal of Commerce seized . . 433 

The author in Fort Lafayette 434 

The grand advance begins 434 

Battle of the Wilderness 434, 435 

Spotsylvania 435 

Cold Harbor 435, 436 

Grant moves to Petersburg 436 

The Crate.r 437 

Hunter ravages the Shenandoah Valley ....... 438 

Early drives him out 438 

Hagerstown laid under tribute 439 

And Middletown 439 

And Frederick 439 

Wallace beaten at Monocacy 439 

Baltimore threatened 440 

Washington almost captured 441, 442 

Charabersburg burned 442 

Sympathy for the sufferers 442, 443 

Sheridan sent to the Shenandoah Valley 444 

Winchester , .-. i .-: . - 445 



The valley ravaged 445 

The surprise? at Cedar Creek - .446 

Sheridan's ride 446, 447 

The victory 447 

Early censures his army 447 

Result of the draft 448 

Proclamation calling for 500,000 volunteers 449 

And fixing a date for a draft 449 

The price of substitutes 449 

Representative substitutes for women 449 

Bounties 450 

Hagerstown pleads for exemption 451 

Money and farms for recruits in Ohio 452 

The stampede to Canada .453 

Seward's Auburn speech 453, 454 

Atlanta 455 

Sherman removes its inhabitants 455, 456 

Farragut enters Mobile Bay 457 



Condition of the currency 458 

Remedies suggested 459 

The act to reduce the currency 459 

Effects produced 460, 401 

Suffering in Richmond 461, 402 

The Governor of Virginia, wants a maximum 463 

Food and tools scarce 463 

Rations cut 464 

No whiskey to be distilled 464 

Meat to be impressed for the army 465 

Railroads "blamed for shortage of food 465 

Prices 466 

Profits of blockade running 467 

The Government engages in the trade 468 

Governor of Korth Carolina protests ...... . 468 

Governors of several States appeal to Congress 469 

Congress exempts State owned vessels 469 

Davis vetoes the bill 469, 470 

Government builds blockade runners 471 

The Enrollment Act amended . . . 471 

Ages for conscription extended 472 

Free negroes liable to service 472 

Privilege of writ of habeas corpus suspended 473 

Persons having substitutes held for service 474 



Was the act conscripting them constitutional? 474 

Judge Pearson grants writ of habeas corpus .... 475 

Georgia declares the Act suspending the Writ unconstitutional . 475 
South Carolina claims exemption for State officials and cadets . 476 
Governors of Alabama and North Carolina make like claims . . 476 
Deserters give trouble 47 Q ^ 



Fall of Atlanta a little matter 47$ 

Davis thinks Sherman is doomed 473 479 

His speeches at Macon, Montgomery, Columbia .... 479, 480 

The Governors of six States are not discouraged 480 

Hood moves northward .... T .... 481 

Sherman sends troops to Allatoona and follows 481 

Battle of Allatoona 433 

Sherman proposes, to march to the sea ...... 482 483 

Grant approves; Sherman makes ready 483 

Atlanta burned t 484 

Field orders 434^ 435 

The march begins 435 

Preparations to oppose it 485-487 

Appeals to Georgians to fight 487-489 

Adventures of the army on its march 489, 490 

Savannah reached; Fort McAllister taken 490 

The Southern press belittles the march 49 \ 9 492 

Savannah entered 492 

The press belittles the capture 492, 493 

The city sends an agent north to buy food 494 

Merchants in northern cities send food ..... 494, 495 

The battle of Franklin 495 

Hood before Nashville 496 

Grant urges Thomas to fight 496 

Prepares to remove him 496, 497 

Thomas destroys Hood's army 497 



The Presidential campaign opens 498 

Candidates favored and opposed 498-500 

The radicals select Chase 500 

The Pomeroy circular in his behalf 501 

Chase tenders his resignation 501 

Which is not accepted 502 



Resigns again 2 

Republican Convention called 503 

Chase withdraws as a candidate 503 

Attempt to postpone the Convention - * 503 

Calls for a Radical Convention 503, 504 

Meets and nominates Fremont 504 

The Badical platform 504 > 505 

Union Convention nominates Lincoln and Johnson . . - .506 

The Union platform 50G 

The World and the Tribune disapprove 506, 507 

Lincoln on the nominee and platform 507, 508 

Democratic Convention postponed 508, 509 

National credit; the price of gold 509 

The Gold Bill 509 > 51 

Democrats attack the Administration 510 

Lincoln's reconstruction policy 511 

The Congressional plan 511, 512 

Lincoln does not sign the hill 512 

Reasons for not signing 512, 513 

Answered in Wade-Davis manifesto 513 

Greeley seeks to make peace 513-515 

Lincoln's "To Whom it May Concern" letter 515 

Greeley's attempt fails 515, 516 

Jaquess and Gilmore. seek to make peace 517 

Are received by Benjamin 517 

And fcy Davis 518 

The interview 518, 519 

Republican leaders are downhearted 520, 521 

Lincoln does not expect to be reeleclcd 521 

Democrats nominate McClellan 522 

The "war-a-failure" plank 522 

The platform 522 

The shift in public opinion 523-524 

Premont withdraws- 524 

Democratic torch-light processions 525 

Speeches by Democratic leaders 525-526 

Speeches by Republican leaders 526-528 

October elections . 528, 529 

Lincoln and Johnson elected 529 



Confederate agents in Canada 530 

Sons of Liberty in the West 531 

Plan to free rebel prisoners in western camps 531 



An uprising attempted 532 

Attempt to seize the Michigan 532 

The Philo Parsons and the Island Queen seized 533 

Beall executed 534 

Seddon wishes the prisoners on Johnston's Island set free . . 534 

St. Alban's raided 534-536 

Excitement along the border 536 

Arrests in Chicago 537 

Incendiaries at work 538 

Attempt to burn New York City 538, 539 

Alarm in Detroit 539 

Trial of St. Alban's raiders 540 

Released 540, 541 

Dix's Order , .... 541 

No sea-traveler from a foreign land to enter the United States 

without a passport 541 

Russell complains to Confederate agents 542, 543 

The letter sent through the lines to Benjamin .... 543 
Is returned by Benjamin ......... 543, 544 

Keener sent to Europe 544 

Is to offer abolition of slavery if England recognizes the Con- 
federacy 545 

Kenner's departure 545 

Mason's interview with Palmerston 546 

And with Lord Donoughmore 546 



The war takes the young men to the front 548, 549 

Women work the farms 549 

Great prosperity 549, 550 

Extravagance 550 

Ladies' National Covenant 550 

Attempt to discourage extravagance 551 

"Women's Patriotic Association for Discouraging the Use of 

Imported Luxuries" 551 

Prosperity denied 552 

The working man 553 

The working woman 554 

Chase on the rise of prices 554 

Cost of living 555 

Stage-fares 555 

Newspapers, magazines, rent, amusements 556 

Money spent on public improvements 556, 557 

Money given the Sanitary Commission 557 



New colleges founded; old ones endowed 557 

Land grants to colleges 557 

Dome of the Capitol finished 557 

The statue of Liberty placed on it 557, 558 

Davis criticizes it 558 

The prairies believed uninhabitable 558, 559 

The Homestead Act 559, 560 

New territories organized 561 

The routes across the Plains 561 

The emigrant trains 562, 563 

Travel by stagecoach across the Plains 564 

Nevada becomes a State 565 

Colorado not admitted 566 

The migration of IS65 566 

The railroads across the Plains 567, 568 



Fort Fisher captured 569 

The loss of it belittled 570 

Davis hopeful 571 

Wishes detail instead of exemption 572 

And the purchase of slaves for the army 572 

Opposition to detail 572, 573 

To the purchase of slaves .... 573 

Congress wishes Lee to be Commander-in-Chief 574 

And Johnston, to command the Army of Tennessee . . . .574 

Davis will not appoint Johnston , 575 

Lee sends him to command the army opposing Sherman . . .575 

Congress has no confidence in Davis 575 

Virginia delegates advise him to form a new Cabinet 575 

Davis resents it 575 3 573 

Virginia delegates defend their action 576 

F. P. Blair, Sr., seeks to end the war 576,, 577 

His first interview with Davis 577 

Receives from Lincoln a letter he may show to Davis . . .578 

Davis appoints commissioners 578 

The Hampton Roads Conference 578 

Report of the Commissioners 579 

Excitement in Richmond 579 

Davis ? speech. 580 

Benjamin's speech , 53 } 

The Southern press excited 581 

The army excited 582 

Desertion continues 582 


Lee's order concerning deserters ........ 583 

Lee on the causes of desertion ......... 533 

Efforts to feed the troops .......... 534 

Lee appeals to the people for food ........ 584 

Sherman enters South Carolina ........ 585 

The Governor begs the men to fight ....... 585 

The Governor of North Carolina appeals ...... 585 

Columbia burned ........... 586, 587 

Who was to blame? ........... 588 

Charleston evacuated .......... 588, 589 

Loss of Charleston belittled ........ 589, 590 

The loss a blow to blockade running ....... 590 

Effect of on Nassau ........... 591 

The news in Liverpool .......... 591 

The North rejoices ........... 592 

The second inauguration of Lincoln ....... 592 

The great inaugural speech .......... 593 

Missouri a free State ........... 593 

Rejoicings ............. 594 

Tennessee a free State .......... 594 

Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment ...... 595 

Scene in the House ........... 595 

Seventeen States ratify it at once ........ 595 

Wilmington captured ....... . 596 

Battle of Bentonville .......... 597 

The Confederate Congress considers arming slaves .... 597 

Lee consulted ............ 598 

The bill passes ............ 599 



Lee attacks and is repulsed ......... 600 

Grant moves ............. 600 

Carries the defenses of Petersburg ........ 601 

Lee informs Davis ..... . ..... 601 

Davis and his Cabinet flee to Danville ....... 601 

Richmond in flames ........... 602 

Weitzel enters ............ 602 

Rejoicings in the North .......... 602 

Lincoln in Richmond ........... 603 

The pursuit of Lee .......... 604, 605 

Appomattox ............. 606 

Davis does not despair .......... 606 

His last proclamation .......... 606 

Flees to Greensboro ........... 607 



Seeks suspension of hostilities 607 

Johnston to arrange with Sherman 607 

Lincoln shot 608 

The conspiracy 608 

Seward attacked 60S, 609 

The night in Washington 609, 610 

Death of Lincoln 610 

Captures 610, 611 

Flight and chase of Booth 611-613 

Death of Booth 013 

Rewards for capture of Davis and others 614 

News of the murder reaches England 614 

Mason denies the murder was planned by rebels 615 

The Times on Lincoln 615, 616 

The London Star 616 

Russell on Lincoln $17 

John Bright's eulogy $17 

Slidell declines to attend a memorial service .... 617, 618 

Sherman and Johnston come to an agreement 618 

The agreement disapproved 619 

Johnston surrenders gig 

Sherman denounced 619-621 

Davis flees southward 621 

His Cabinet scatter . , 622 

His capture ^22 

The news reaches England 623 

Trial of the conspirators 623 624 

The case of Mrs. Sturratt 624, 625 



Taylor and Smith surrender 626 

Political leaders arrested or flee 626-627 

Rebel Governors hunted down 627-628 

The cruiser Stoneteall 6 28 

Escapes capture; delivered to Spain 629 

The Sbenandoah delivered to England 629-630 

Johnson's policy towards the South 33 j 

His Amnesty Proclamation 631-632 

Recognizes Pierpoint as Governor of Virginia 632 

Holds that the Union was not broken 632-633 

Reconstructs North Carolina Q$A 

And six other States ^ 

The Radicals demand negro suffrage 635 63 g 

The devastated South; the Shenandoah Valley .....' 037 



The country between Washington and Richmond .... 637 

Conditions in Richmond 637 

In Petersburg and Lynchburg 638 

Around Atlanta 639 

In Mobile and Macon 639 

Report of the Union Commission 639 

Charleston and Columbia 640 

Hailroads wrecked % 640 

Travel by rail 640, 641 

The freedmen 642 

"Bureau of Freednien, Refugees and Abandoned Lands" . . . 642 

The freedxnen's idea of freedom 643, 644 

Treatment of them 644, 645 

Wages, rations, hours of labor 645, 646 

The Constitutional Conventions 647 

Repeal the Ordinances of Secession 647 

Abolishment of slavery 647 

The war debts 647, 648 

Mississippi refuses to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment . . . 648 
Ratified by Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, 

Florida 648, 649 

The freedmen must be made to work 649, 650 

New black codes 650, 651 

Johnson proclaims peace 651 


THE UNITED STATES IN 1862 ....... fating 56 


THEATER OF WAR, 1861-1865 ....... facing 200 


THE WEST IN 1865 ........... 563 







Osr the fourth of February, 1861, eight and thirty gentle- 
men, delegates from six of the seven States that had broken, 
the political ties that once bound them in the Federal 
Union, met in Convention in the Senate Chamber in the 
Capitol at Montgomery. The task before them was to frame 
a Constitution for the Confederate States of America. So 
diligent were they that before a week passed they turned 
the Convention into a Congress, adopted a provisional Con- 
stitution,* to remain in force for one year from the inaugu- 
ration of a provisional President, or until a permanent 
Constitution was in operation; elected Jefferson Davis and 
Alexander Hamilton Stephens provisional President and 
Vice-President respectively, f put in force all laws of the 
United States not inconsistent with the temporary Constitu- 
tion; and appointed committees to report a permanent Con- 
stitution and designs for a flag, a seal, a motto and a coat of 
arms. Before a fortnight had gone by the Confederate 
States were notified that the provisional Grovernment would 
take over the settlement of all disputes with the United 
States ; and Davis was directed to appoint, as soon as possible 
after his inauguration, three commissioners to "negotiate 

* Printed in full in Official Records of the Union and Confederate 
Armies, Series 4, vol i, pp. 92-99. 
t February 9, 1861, Official Kecords, Series 4, vol. 1, pp. 100, 101. 


friendly relations between tbat Government and the Con- 
federate States of America/ 7 and settle "all questions of dis- 
agreement between tlie two governments on principles of jus- 
tice, equity and good faith.." * All officers in the custom 
service of tlie United States, in office when the provisional 
Government was founded, were appointed to serve under the 
Confederate States, and given the same duties, salaries and 
fees as when under the Federal Government. February 
eighteenth Davis was inaugurated, and two days later ih& 
departments of State, War, Treasury, Justice, the ISTavy and 
the Post-Office were created, f Continuing the work of organ- 
ization the Congress, before the month ended, authorized the 
issue of bonds not to exceed fifteen million dollars in amount ; 
authorized the raising of a provisional army; and fixed the 
rates of postage. Davis was instructed to take control of all 
military operations in the several States, receive from them 
the arms and munitions they had "acquired" from the United 
States, and take into the service of the Confederacy such! 
forces, then in the service of the States, as might be ten- 
dered, or might volunteer with consent of their States, in 
such number as might be necessary, and for any term not 
less than one year. $ March first P. T. Beauregard was ap- 
pointed a Brigadier General in the Provisional Army and 
March fourth the Confederate flag was raised over the dome 
of the Capitol at Montgomery by the granddaughter of former 
President John Tyler. Walker, under the act to raise a 
provisional army, called for troops to defend Charleston and 
Pensacola, to man forts Pulaski and Morgan, forts Jackson 

* Official Records, Series 4, vol. i, p. 103. 

t Robert Toombs was appointed Secretary ol State; Christopher Gus- 
tavus Memminger, Secretary of the Treasury; Leroy Pope Walker, Sec- 
retary of War. To them were presently added Stephen Russell Mallory, 
Secretary of the Navy, Judah Philip Benjamin, Attorney-General, and 
John Henninger Reagan, Postmaster-General. The three cdmmissxoners 
to the Washington Government were, Andrew Bienvenue Roman, Martin 
Jenkins Crawford, and John Forsyth. 

$ Official Records, Series 4, vol. \ p. 117. Act of February 28, 1861. 

Many designs and models for a flag were submitted to Congress. 
The one adopted consisted of three broad horizontal stripes; the upper 
and lower red, the middle white. In the upper left-hand corner, coming 
down to the top of the lower red stripe, was a "blue square and on it 
was a circle of seven white stars. 


and St. Philip on the Mississippi Eiver below New Orleans, 
and to defend Texas.* 

The Confederate Congress now finished the permanent 
Constitution^ sent it to the States, and adjourned to meet 
again on the second Monday in May. ^ Complaints were 
made in Louisiana and Georgia because it was not sub- 
mitted to a direct vote of the people; but they received little 
heed, and by the end of March five States had ratified and it 
went into force. 

In the northern Capital on the fourth of March, Lincoln 
took the oath of office required of Presidents of the United 
States. Never before had Washington presented such an 
appearance on inauguration day. Fear of attack on the 
President-elect led to the taking of unusual precautions lest 
a bullet, a hand grenade, a bomb should reach him. Troops 
lined Pennsylvania Avenue and stood upon the housetops 
that they might overlook and watch the crowd. Foot and 
horse escorted him to the Capitol. Arrived there he must 
walk some fifty yards to the entrance to the Senate wing, and 
be much exposed. A covered passage had therefore been built 
of thick boards, and through it Lincoln passed from his car- 
riage to the Capitol. 

Never before had an inaugural address been awaited with 
such deep and anxious interest. What would be the policy 
of Lincoln no one knew. In letters to friends and addresses 
to audiences he had, now and then, dropped hints. To one 
he wrote : "My opinion is, that no State can in any way law- 
fully get out of the Union without the consent of the others." (J 
To another: "Please present my respects to General Scott, 
and tell him, confidentially, I shall be obliged to him to be 
as well prepared as he can be to either hold or retake the forts, 
as the case may require, at, or after, the inauguration." f 

* Official Records, Series 4, vol. i, p. 135. 

tlbid., pp. 136-147. 

$ March 16, 1861. 

Alabama, March 13; Georgia, March 16; Louisiana, March 21 5 
Texas, March 23; Mississippi, March 29. Official Records, Series 4, 
vol. i, pp. 150, 173, 187, 193. South Carolina, April 3; Florida, April 
22, 1861. Ibid., pp. 207, 230. 

11 Lincoln to Washburn, December 17, 1860 Works, vol. i, p. 600. 

If Thurlow Weed, December 2, 1860. 


Speaking to the legislature of Indiana he asked: "Would 
the inarching of an army into South Carolina without the 
consent of her people, and with hostile intent towards them, 
be 'invasion'? I certainly think it would; and it would 
be 'coercion' also, if South Carolinians were forced to sub- 
mit But, if the United States should merely hold and 
retake its own forts and other property, and collect thd 
duties would any or all of these things be 'invasion' or 'co- 
ercion' ? >? * These expressions were hints of what was in his 
mind, of what he would probably do, but no definite state- 
ment of how he would deal with the Confederacy, with 1 
secession, with the momentous question of war or peace 
was made public until, on the fourth of March, he spoke 
to the crowd gathered in front of the east portico of the 
unfinished Capitol to behold him take the oath of office. 

The Union, he said, was unbroken. "No State on its own 
mere motion could go out of the Union. Kesolves and 
ordinances to that effect were legally void; and acts of 
violence, in any State, against the authority of the United 
States, were insurrectionary or revolutionary according to 
circumstances. Holding these opinions he should take care 
that the laws of the Union were duly executed in all the 
States, unless his rightful masters, the American people, 
should withhold the requisite means, or direct the contrary. 
In doing this there need be no bloodshed, no violence, and 
there should be none unless forced on the national authority. 
The power confided to him would be used to hold, occupy, 
and possess the property and places belonging to the Govern- 
ment, and to collect the duties and imposts. Beyond what 
might be necessary for these objects there would be no in- 
vasion, no use of force against the people anywhere. 

To friends of the South, in Washington, the speech! 
seemed so threatening that some hastened to send warn- 
ing telegrams to President Davis. Others met during the 
afternoon of March fourth, discussed the meaning of the 
inaugural, and bade one of their number inform the Con- 
federate Secretary of State of their decision. It was their 

* New York Tribune, February 12, 1861. 


unanimous opinion that Lincoln would at once attempt to 
collect the revenue, reenforce and hold forts Sumter and 
Pickens ? and retake such other places as had been seized 
by the Confederates, for he was a man of firmness and will. 
Should Sumter fee attacked it was their belief that the 
order should come from the Confederate Government and 
not from the State of South Carolina." 55 " 

As the telegraph spread the inaugural over the country 
Republican journals praised it as sensible, judicious, full 
of patriotism and kindly feeling for all sections of the 
country. Here and there some Democratic journal con- 
demned it as discreditable, unworthy of the President, a weak 
declaration of war against the seceded States, a tiger's claw 
under the fur of Sewardism. f It was a loose, disjointed, 
rambling speech, full of promises which, if carried out in 
good faith, must lead to civil war in thirty days, unless the 
Southern peoples were a set of braggarts. $ The tone of 
the speech and the character of the Cabinet justified the fear 
that the Border States would soon secede, and that the States 
which had seceded would make xeady for war. Indeed, 
the press of the Border States was eager for war. Civil war, 
it was said, must come. Sectional wax declared by Lincoln! 
awaits but the signal gun from the insulted Southern Con- 
federacy to light its horrid fires along the Virginia border. 
The question, where shall Virginia go ? is answered by lr. 
Lincoln. She must go to war. She must fight, for she will 
surely be invaded by the army of Davis, or of Lincoln. No 
action of the Convention can now maintain peace. [] 

In Petersburg, Virginia, it was said that thousands of men 
who had stood by the Union now changed their minds and 
declared for revolution unless the Convention at once passed 
an ordinance of secession. The people of Wilmington, North 
Carolina, were pleased with the address because it meant 

* Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, 
vol. i, pp. 263-264, 
f The Pennsylvanian. 
$ The Chicago Times, 
Detroit Free Press. 
I] Richmond Enquirer, March 5, 1861. 


coercion, and coercion was just what they toped would "be 
attempted. Louisville was convinced that Lincoln was de- 
termined to retake the forts and collect the revenue by 
force. Knoxville declared Tennessee would fight him to 
the bitter end. 

Editors in the Confederate States were of like mind. At 
Jacksonville and Columbus, Mississippi, the inaugural was 
held to be a declaration of war. At New Orleans the state- 
ment that the ordinances of the seceded States were null 
and void, and the determination to hold, occupy, and possess 
Government property and collect the revenue were called 
an open declaration of war. The assertion that no blood 
need be shed, nor invasion made, was read with laughter. 
In Mobile war was considered to be inevitable. A Mont- 
gomery journal described the speech as artfully worded, 
and written by a pen more skillful than the railsplitter 
yielded. The animus was plain, the meaning clear. It 
meant war, and nothing less than war would satisfy the 
abolition chief. If blood, and nothing but blood Mr. Lin- 
coln must have, then let the South cry "havoc, and let slip 
the dogs of war.' 7 * 

While the people were reading the comments of the press, 
the names of the Secretaries were laid before the Senate, f 
No opposition was made to any of them until those of Edward 
Bates of Missouri and Montgomery Blair of Maryland were 
reached. Then the Border States Senators protested. No 
man from a slave-holding State, they said, ought to have a 
place in the Cabinet of a Black Republican President holding 
such views as Lincoln had expressed in his inaugural. Some 
votes were cast against them: but their appointments were 
confirmed and the President and his Secretaries took 
up a task far more difficult than had ever been laid on any 
of their predecessors. Truly was it said, never before has an 

* Montgomery Advertiser, March 5, 1861. 

^f Seward, Secretary of State; Chase, Secretary of the Treasury; 
Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, Secretary of War; Gideon Welles, 
of Connecticut, Secretary of the Navy; Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana, 
Secretary of the Interior; Edward Bates, of Missouri, Attorney-General/ 
Montgomery Blair, of Maryland, Postmaster-General. 

1861 SUMTER. ^ 

administration been called on to discharge duties so grave 
or complicated. ISTever before was there such need of so 
much charity, forbearance, reserve of public criticism. Bu- 
chanan's feeble and treacherous administration has left a 
broken Union, a bankrupt treasury, a divided people, an im- 
periled nation. On the new administration rests the duty of. 
facing these perils and finding a cure. It will be no holiday 
service. A tottering Government is to be preserved or lost ; a> 
nation is to be saved. Let every man put aside partisan- 
ship; forget resentments, forget men, forget politics, and 
rally to the support of the Government and of the Adminis- 
tration into whose hands it has for a short time been con- 

Lincoln in his inaugural speech had promised to hold, 
occupy and possess the places and property belonging to the 
United States. Under this solemn promise it was now his 
duty to hold both Sumter and Pickens. What should be 
done to hold them must be speedily decided or they might 
be taken by the Confederacy. Indeed, while the ceremonies 
of the inauguration were under way there came to the De- 
partment of War a report from Anderson in Eort Sumter, 
setting forth that his provisions would last but a month, 
that unless relieved he must then surrender, and that to 
relieve the garrison would require a fleet and twenty thousand 
men. f The President at once consulted General Scott, and 
on the sixth of March, by order of Lincoln, a meeting was 
held at the Department of War to consider the situation of 

To those present Scott reviewed the perils which beset the 
country; told of the advice and warning he had given Bu- 
chanan ; of the precautions he had taken to provide for public 
safety; of his fear that war was near at hand, and of the 
distressing news from Anderson to consider which the meet- 
ing had been called. Most of his hearers were in favor of 
the prompt relief and reinforcement of Anderson; but Scott 
dwelt on the difficulty presented by the strong batteries 

* New York Tribune, March 5, 1861. 

f Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, 
vol. i, p. 197. 


erected by the South Carolinians, declared the Navy must 
decide, for the Army could do nothing, and the meeting 
adjourned without coming to a decision.* 

March ninth the question was discussed at a Cabinet meet- 
ing. On the tenth newspaper correspondents telegraphed 
their journals that the report was current, in Washington, 
that the Government was about to order the troops in Sumter 
to be withdrawn. An official letter, it was said, had come 
from Anderson stating that his provisions would last but 
fifteen days. The question, shall he be reenforcecl or the fort 
abandoned ? had, therefore, arisen, and the latter course was to 
be adopted from necessity, and by advice of Scott. One 
report had it that the 'Brooklyn would probably be sent to 
bring him and his men to some Northern city. Senator Wig- 
fall telegraphed to Beauregard and Davis that it was be- 
lieved Anderson would be ordered to leave Sumter in a few 
days. Such at all events had been informally agreed to at a 
Cabinet meeting on Saturday night, f 

Merchants and stock brokers in New York were greatly 
excited by the rumor. "Is it possible ?" ; "Can it be true ?" ; 
"Do you believe it ? ?? ; "Nonsense, out of the question 57 were 
exclamations heard on every hand. $ The brokers, however, 
were inclined to believe the report was true. Eank exchange 
and uncurrent bills rose in value. The stock board was in st 
furor of excitement and the sales larger in quantity and the 
price higher than they had been for a month past. 

Dispatches from Washington that night set forth that 
reports of the Intended evacuation of Sumter still prevailed. 
Men of prominence declared they had information which 
satisfied them that such a course was necessary and must be 
taken. It was idle to pretend the question had not been, 
settled. The fact was, Anderson had been ordered to leave, 
and was to come by land to Washington or Baltimore. || 

* Diary of Gideon Welles, vol. i, pp. 3-5. 

f Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, 
vol. i, p. 273. 

f Philadelphia Ledger, March 12, 1861. 
New York Herald, March 12, 1861. 
|| Philadelphia Ledger, March 12, 1861. 

1861 CA - N ' SUMTEPv BE HELD? 


March twelfth Sewaid was reported to have heartily approved 
of the evacuation of Sumter. The popular hdief was that 
Lincoln, however reluctant, would be persuaded to accept the 
opinion of Scott and withdraw Anderson, and that a mes- 
senger would soon be sent with the order. 

In Philadelphia, while every man toped for peace, there 
was a strong feeling against buying it by yielding to all the 
demands of the South. If the President gave up Sumter one 
week after solemnly promising to hold, possess, and occupyf 
the forts, he would soon be forced to abandon Ms other prom- 
ise to collect the duties. Nothing would then remain for him, 
to do but assemble Congress, recognize the Confederate States 
and divide the public property. Perhaps this would be the 
best policy. People everywhere believed the report because 
they hoped it might be true. Every lover of his country, it 
was admitted, must feel humiliated that the Government is 
brought so low that it cannot maintain its authority against 
treason and rebellion. The misconduct of the late Administra- 
tion has been such that the present Administration has neither 
the ships nor the money necessary to enforce the law against 
armed traitors. Treason, which at first could have been 
checked, has grown to such proportions that any attempt to 
put it down will bring on a widespread sectional war. Viewed 
as a measure of conciliation the withdrawal of the troops 
may have a good effect, may quiet sectional excitement. The 
whole country feels relieved. Ultras, striving for a fight, 
are disgusted; but Moderates and Christian men North and 
South will feel that abandomnent of Sumter is best for the 
country and a step towards reunion. 

The President, however, had come to no such decision. 
While positive assurances of evacuation of Sumter were com- 
ing from Washington, Lincoln turned to Scott and asked 
what should be done to supply and reenf orce the fort. The 
General replied that the time for relief had gone. Five 
thousand regulars and twenty thousand volunteers would be 
needed to take the batteries. The help of the Navy would 
be necessary, but ships could not be gathered in less than 
four months, nor troops in less than six. Starvation, or sur- 
render to assault was merely a question of time. He there- 


fore presented a draft of an order for the evacuation of 
Sumter. * 

Blair, still convinced tliat the fort could he relieved, now 
telegraphed Captain Gustavtis V. Fox, of the Wavy, who 
hurried from 'New York and laid a plan before the Presi- 
dent who took him to the office of Scott where the possibility 
of relief was again debated. Scott admitted that the plan 
was workable in February, but impossible in March because 
of the many new batteries at the entrance to the harbor. 
Fox thereupon suggested that he visit Sumter and see for 
himself what was the situation. Lincoln agreed if Cameron 
and Scott had no objections, f 

That the plan could be carried out seems to have been the 
belief of the President, for he now asked each member of 
the Cabinet for a written answer to the question, "Assuming 
it to be possible to now provision Fort Sumter, under all the 
circumstances is it wise to attempt it?" All save Blair and 
Chase said no. The most that could be done, Seward be- 
lieved, would be to attempt to throw into Sumter a few hun- 
dred men and provisions for six months. But in our country 
with its daily press, mails, and telegraphs the attempt would 
be known as soon as begun, and the fort would be taken by 
assault before the expedition reached Charleston. Even if 
the attempt were successful, and the garrison put in condi- 
tion to defy assault for six months, nothing would be gained, 
for the Administration could not hope to subjugate Charles- 
ton or the State of South Carolina. The garrison might fire 
on the batteries and demolish them ; but that would not check 
disunion. It would inaugurate civil war and then reunion 
would be hopeless. Seward would not begin war to regain 
a useless and unnecessary position on the soil of the seceding 
States. $ 

Meantime the question, what was Lincoln going to do? 
came before the Secretary in yet another way. In the clos- 
ing hours of Buchanan's administration one of the three 

* Official Kecords, Series 1, vol. i, p. 197. 

t^ox's Memorandum of facts concerning the attempt to send sup- 
plies to Fort Sumter in 1861. Official Kecords of the Union and Con- 
federate Navies, Series 1, vol. iv, pp. 246-247. 

$ Crawford's Genesis of the Civil War, pp. 348-353. 


Confederate Commissioners reached Washington. Instruc- 
tions bade them seek recognition of independence, and make 
as soon as possible, a treaty of amity and good will. They 
were to begin by obtaining a personal interview with Lincoln. 
Should he receive them in their official capacity they were 
to present their letter empowering them to act. Should he 
decline to receive them officially, but agree to meet them 
unofficially, they should go, tell him by word of mouth of the 
duties with which they were charged, learn what course he 
intended to adopt, and report at once. 

Lincoln, and, indeed, all others were to be assured of the 
earnest wish of the President, Congress and people of the 
Confederate States to maintain peaceful relations with the 
United States and secure a friendly settlement of all pending 
questions. They were to say that while firmly resolved to 
maintain independence at all hazards, the South neither in- 
tended, nor wished, to injure her late confederates. Nothing 
would induce her to take a hostile attitude towards the 
United States save refusal to acknowledge the independence 
of the Confederate States accompanied by an aggressive at- 
tempt to assert, within the limits of the Confederacy, the 
powers which belong to the Federal authority under the Con- 
stitution, powers which ceased the moment the sovereign Com- 
monwealths forming the Confederacy solemnly dissolved the 
old bonds, renounced allegiance and reassumed the powers 
delegated to form the old Union. If the United States would 
pursue its time-honored policy of recognizing de facto govern- 
ments, and the right of every people to create and reform 
their political institutions at their will, it could have no 
hesitation in recognizing the independence of the Confeder- 
ate States which were an independent nation de facto and de 

Should Lincoln refuse to receive the Commissioners in any 
way, and propose to refer the subject of their mission to the 
Senate, they were to wait. Should he propose to withhold a 
reply until Congress assembled and acted, they were to wait.* 

* Pickett Papers, Library of Congress. Instructions to the Commis- 
sioners, February 27, 1861. 


From Washington, early in March, Crawford reported 
that it was useless to approach Buchanan. A little while 
since he had expressed his willingness to receive the Com- 
missioners "purporting" to come from the Confederate 
States Government, and send to Congress such matter as 
they might lay before him. After the Confederate Govern- 
ment had been informed of this he changed his mind, or lost 
remembrance of what he had said, and denied having given 
utterance to such language. On further conversation he re- 
called something of the matter and declared he would refer 
any communication from, them to Congress, but must consult 
his Cabinet. He was as incapable of purpose as a child. As 
to what should be the policy of the new Administration, the) 
Cabinet was not agreed, Lincoln, it was understood, hadi 
rejected Chase. Thereupon delegation after delegation from 
the Wide Awake Clubs, Crawford wrote, had waited on the 
President-elect and urged the appointment. Getting no 
pledge they made a demand, and finally defied and dared 
Lincoln to refuse. He then yielded. Bell was in constant 
conference with him, urging him not to disturb the South. 
Any attempts to collect revenue or reenforce the forts would 
be the signal for every Border State to secede. Bell advised 
indefinite truce and withdrawal of the troops from the forts, 
save a sergeant and a few men, 'leaving the flag of the 
United States flying to satisfy the war party. Let the Con- 
federate States do as they pleased, let them make ready for 
war, strengthen their defenses, do as they pleased. The more 
they did looking towards independence the greater would be 
the taxes, the sooner would come discontent, and at last 
reconciliation on the most enduring basis." * 

Two days after the inauguration Crawford reported that 
the Secretary of State and the Secretary of War favored a 
peace policy to prevent further disruption, and bring back the 
States that had already seceded. The construction that 
Seward put on the inaugural speech, was, that it only followed 
the language of every inaugural speech from that of Washing- 
ton down. Lincoln had promised to "execute the laws." 

*Pickett Papers: Crawford to Toornbs, March 3, 1861. 


This was necessary to prevent the utter rain, of the party. 
He had promised to collect the revenue. In this he had an 
eye to ports outside rather than inside the Confederacy. Had 
he not so declared New York or San Prancisco might at any 
time, for any reason, have refused to pay the duties. The 
words, hold, occupy, and possess the property and places be- 
longing to the United States Government, Seward said, must, 
with all else in the speech, he taken in connection with the 
qualification, "doing this seems to he only a simple duty on 
my part and I shall perform it so far as possible unless my 
rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the 
requisite means, or in some authoritative manner direct the 
contrary." * 

In the next report Crawford and Porsyth stated their be- 
lief that in the Cabinet was a peace party with Seward at 
the head ; that it was good policy to cultivate unofficial rela- 
tions with this party, and to that end the services of a dis- 
tinguished ex-Senator had been secured to bring about an un- 
derstanding with Seward. The Secretary was for delay. 
The agent declared delay was not possible. He was sent to 
demand a definition of the relations the Confederate States 
were to hold with the United States. The Confederacy 
wished peace, but was ready to accept war. In the excited 
state of the public mind, the anomalous condition of Sumter 
and Pickens, the flag of a Foreign Power flying over soil 
its people had declared independent, the uncertainty whether 
the forts would or would not be reenf orced, and the five or six 
steamers receiving troops and supplies in Brooklyn made 
delay impossible. Seward urged that it was not the time for 
action, the new Administration was besieged by applicants for 
office, and beset by all the difficulties of its early days in 
office. The agent admitted this to be true; nevertheless, with- 
out assurances, the Commissioners were bound to make an 
issue and force a reply. Seward would give assurances., 
wherefore it was agreed the agent should bring him a 
memorandum of terms on which the Commissioners would 
consent to delay, f 

* Pickett Papers. Crawford to Toombs, March 6, 1861. 
t Ibid. Crawford and Forsythe to Toombs, March 8, 1861. 


The paper was drafted at once, and carried to the Depart- 
ment of State early on the morning of March eighth. The 
terms were: consideration of diplomatic relations; with- 
drawal of troops from forts, arsenals, and dockyards; and 
postponement for twenty days of all questions arising from' 
secession, provided the United States gave a pledge not to 
change the present military status, not to attempt to re- 
enforce forts in its possession, not to molest forts and arsenals 
in possession of the Confederate States. The Confederate 
States would not attack Sumter nor Pickens, and their gar- 
risons might get supplies. 

Seward was sick when the memorandum was delivered, 
and three days passed "before he was again at his desk. The 
agent who had carried the memorandum was then out of the 
city; But that no time should Ibe lost Senator Hunter of 
Virginia offered to see Seward and ask for an unofficial re- 
ception of the Commissioners. The reply was a polite re- 
fusal. A formal note was then drafted, Seward duly in- 
formed of the official presence of the Commissioners in 
"Washington, and a request made for a day when they might 
present to Lincoln the credentials they "bore, and state the 
objects of the mission with which they were charged. Seward 
made no reply, but on the fifteenth placed on the files of the 
Department a long memorandum in which he declined "offi- 
cial intercourse" with Crawford and Forsyth.* 

While the Commissioners were waiting for Seward's reply 
two justices of the Supreme Court, ISTelson of "New York and 
Campbell of Alabama assumed the role of peace-makers. No 
one had watched the course of events more carefully than 
Justice Nelson. He had thought much on the right of the 
President to coerce the seceded States, had reached the con- 
clusion that force could not be used without serious violation 
of the Constitution, and on March fifteenth visited the 
Secretaries of State, and War, and the Attorney-General 
and stated his views. Seward was strong for peace, would 
spare no efforts to keep it, was thankful for any hindrance 

* Forsyte to Pickens, March 14, 1861. Official Records, Series 1, 
voL i, p. 275. 


to war, and complained of the embarrassment caused him by 
the demand of tne Commissioners for recognition. Suck "being 
the case Nelson suggested that Justice John A. Campbell, a 
native of Alabama, but a true friend of the Union, might 'be 
of use, and happening to meet him after leaving Seward, 
told him of the interview and the two went at once to Seward, 
and advised him to answer the letter. Seward refused to do 
so. Not a member of the Cabinet, he said, would hear of It 
The evacuation of Sumter was as much as the Administration 
could bear. 

Campbell, then for the first time made aware that the 
withdrawal of Anderson was considered by the Cabinet, ad- 
mitted that it would be as much as the Administration could 
bear, and offered to see the Commissioners and write to 
Davis. "And what/' said he, "shall I say to him upon the 
subject of Fort Sumter ?" "You may say to him that before 
the letter reaches him, the telegraph will have informed him 
that Sumter will have been evacuated." * Confident that the 
fort would soon be abandoned, Campbell went at once to 
Crawford and urged him to wait for an answer to his note, 
for if he pressed for a reply a refusal to receive the Com- 
missioners would follow. 

Crawford answered that if Campbell could give assurance 
that the intentions of the United States were peaceful, that 
Sumter would be evacuated and Pickens not reenf orced, time 
would be granted. He soon returned and asked for a delay 
of ten days until the effect on the people of the evacuation of 
Sumter was known. Campbell was requested to put his as- 
surance in writing and did so. I feel perfectly confident, he 
wrote, Fort Sumter will be evacuated within the next five 
days. I feel perfectly confident no measure changing the 
existing status of things prejudicial to the Confederate States 
of America is at present contemplated. I feel entire con- 
fidence that an immediate demand for an answer will be 
productive of evil, and not good. 

The five days came and went. "No order was sent to 
Anderson, and when, on the twentieth of Harch, the Com- 

* Crawford's Genesis of the Civil War, p. 328, note. 


missioners telegraphed to Beauregard, "Has Sumter been 
evacuated V * and received the reply that it had not, the 
answer was laid before Campbell. He carried it to Seward, 
returned, and left a second memorandum, and on the follow- 
ing day came again and left a third memorandum which 
read : "As a result of my interview of to-day, I have to say 
that I have still unabated confidence that Eort Sumter will 
be evacuated, and that no delay that has occurred excites in 
my mind any apprehension or distrust; and that the state 
of things existing at Fort Pickens will not be altered prejudi- 
cially to the Confederate States." f 

Justice kelson now ceased to act as a go-between, and the 
Russian Minister, Baron Stoeckl, called on Eoman who had 
just arrived. The Baron had seen Seward the day before, 
and had found him anxious for a peaceful settlement. There 
would be no coercion, no blockade. The Confederate States 
would be allowed to collect the customs duties; but out of 
them should be paid the expense of the Post-Offices. If mat- 
ters were allowed to go on peacefully he hoped to see the 
Confederate States back in the Union. If they persisted in 
maintaining the position they had assumed he believed "they 
should be permitted to depart in peace," and the terms of 
separation settled amicably. The Baron then proposed an 
informal meeting of Seward and Eoman. Eoman should 
come to tea on a certain evening at the Baron's house. 
Seward should drop in, and after tea Stoeckl should go out 
and Seward and Eoman be left alone. $ Eoman accepted, 
but Seward wrote that after much reflection he could not 
accept the invitation to take a cup of tea on the appointed 
evening. "When reporting this incident to Toombs the Com- 
missioners asked, shall we dally longer with a Government 
hesitating and doubting as to its own course; or shall we 
demand our answer at once ?" 

By order of Lincoln, Fox was now sent to obtain accurate 
information as to the state of affairs in Sumter. || He was 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. i, p. 277. ' 

t Pickett Papers. To Toombs, March 22, 1861. 

$ Ibid., Roman to Toombs, March 25, 1861. 

Ibid., March 26, 1861. 

|| Official Records, Series 1, vol. i, pp. 208, 209. 


allowed to enter the fort, and brought back word that Ander- 
son believed that it was too late to take it by landing an army 
on Morris Island, that entrance from the sea was impossible, 
and that his provisions would be exhausted by noon on the 
fifteenth of April.* Lamon, the President's old law partner, 
was also sent, saw Anderson and Governor Pickens, and left 
on each the impression that the fort would soon be 
abandoned, f Indeed, Beauregard informed Anderson 
that he was to go, that no formal surrender would be re- 
quired, and that the garrison might take with them side 
arms and company arms, and salute their flag before leav- 
ing. $ 

As day followed day and Lamon did not return, as he had 
promised to do, and the flag still flew over Sumter, Governor 
Pickens grew uneasy and telegraphed to the Commissioners 
an account of the visit of Lamon and his pledges. Campbell 
took it to Seward, and after the interview reported he was 
still satisfied of the good faith of the Government in all re- 
spects, save as to the evacuation of the fort. The truth was, 
the Commissioner told Toombs, the promise was given after 
the President and Cabinet had agreed to the order for evacu- 
ation, and when the person pledging its fulfillment had no * 
reason to believe any influences whatever could delay evacua- 
tion. But Lincoln, hard-pressed by others of his party, was 
induced, in order to protect himself from the indignation 
sure to follow the act, to send Lamon to inspect and report 
so that the necessity of evacuation might be made manifest. 
Lamon had told the Governor he would return in three or 
four days and remove the garrison. This was not done be- 
cause the President was forced to await the result of the 
elections in Connecticut and Rhode Island. There was no 
purpose to countermand the order. 

April first Campbell again saw Seward, was told Lamon 
had no authority to pledge Lincoln by any promise or as- 
surance, and was given in writing the statement: "I am 

* Official Becords, Navies, Series 1, vol. iv, p. 247. 
t Ibid., Armies, Series 1, vol. i, p. 282. 
ilMd., p. 222, March 26, 1861. 
Pickett Papers, April 1, 1861. 


satisfied the Government will not undertake to supply Fort 
Sumter without giving notice to Governor Pickens." * The 
President, Crawford telegraphed Beauregard, has not the 
courage to execute the order we know was agreed on to 
evacuate. He intends to shift the responsibility on Ander- 
son by suffering him to be starved out. Our best course is 
to aid by cutting off supplies. If the fort be assaulted while 
the general impression is that its surrender may be expected 
any day, we will appear guilty of unnecessarily shedding 
blood, f The war wing presses on the President, he vibrates 
to that side, has conferred with several officers and naval 
engineers supposedly in regard to Sumter, and his form of 
notice may be that of the coward who gives it when he 
strikes. $ 

The President had, indeed, gone over to the war wing for, 
on the return of Fox, h.e decided to provision Sumter and 
signed an order directing Welles and Cameron to get ready 
an expedition to move by sea not later than the sixth of 
April. By the fourth preparations had gone so far that 
Fox was notified that Sumter was to be succored, that he was 
to command the transports and was to go to the entrance of 
Charleston harbor and attempt to deliver the provisions. 
Should resistance be offered the senior naval officer would use 
Ms entire force to effect an entrance. 

It was now the fourth of April. A month had passed 
since inauguration day, yet Seward saw on every hand 
nothing but wavering, fickleness, want of vigor, want of pol- 
icy, want of leadership. Convinced that it was his duty to 
guide the hesitating President, supply him with a policy and, 
if need be, take over the work of administration, he sat down 
and wrote a long paper, called it "Some Thoughts for the 
President's Consideration/* and handed it to Lincoln on the 
first day of April. "We are now, he said, at the end of a 
month's administration, yet without a policy foreign or 
domestic. For this they were not to be blamed, for the 

* Campbell MSS. Cra-wford's Genesis of the Civil War, pp. 337-339. 
tPickett Papers, April 1, 1861. 

$ Official Records, Union and Confederate Navies, Series 1, vol. iv, 
p. 256. Crawford and Roman to Toombs, April 2, 1861. 


pressure of the Senate, and the pressure of office seekers 
prevented attention to graver affairs. But further delay to 
adopt and prosecute policies, both domestic and f oreign, would 
bring scandal on the Administration and danger on the 
country. As a home policy the question before the people 
should be changed from one upon slavery, or about slavery, 
to one of union or disunion. The occupation, or evacuation, 
of Fort Sumter, though not a slavery question, was so re- 
garded and should be ended as a safe means of changing the 
issue. All forts along the Gulf should be reenforced and 
defended; all naval vessels in foreign stations should be 
recalled and prepared for a blockade; and the question of 
union or disunion distinctly raised. As to foreign policy, 
categorical explanations should at once be demanded from 
France and Spain, and if not satisfactory Congress should be 
assembled and war declared. Explanations should be sought 
from Great Britain and Russia, and agents sent into Canada, 
Mexico and Central America to raise a vigorous continental 
spirit of independence on this continent against European 
intervention. Whatever the policy adopted, it must be vigor- 
ously prosecuted. It must be somebody's business to pursue 
and direct it incessantly. Either the President must direct 
it himself, or pass it on to some member of his Cabinet. "It 
is not my especial province, but I neither seek to evade nor 
assume responsibility." * 

The wild scheme of foreign war in hope of uniting the 
sections and putting an end to secession; the censorious tone; 
the demand that Lincoln should perform the duties of his 
office or assign them to him, might well have led to his instant 
dismissal. But Lincoln., with that magnanimity which was 
one of his finest traits, passed over all that was offensive and 
replied to the "Thoughts" the very day he received them. 
As to having no policy, he had said in the inaugural : "The 
powers confided to me will be used to hold, occupy and 
possess the property and places belonging to the Government 
and to collect the duties and imposts/' and Seward had ap- 
proved. He could not see how reinforcement of Sumter 

* Mcolay and Hay's Abraham Lincoln, vol. iii, pp. 445-447* 


would be a slavery, or party, issue wliile that of Fort Pickens 
would be a national and patriotic one. As to the closing 
proposition that "either the President must do it himself, 
and be all the while active in it, or devolve it on some member 
of his Cabinet," I remark, he wrote, "that if it must be done, 
I must do it." * And there the incident closed. Wor did 
either party ever allude to it; nor was the existence of the 
"Thoughts" and the answer ever known until both President 
and Secretary were in their graves and the biographers of 
Lincoln made the papers public. 

Preparations for the expedition being well under way, 
the next step was to serve the promised notice on Governor 
Pickens. For this purpose Captain Talbot and Robert A. 
Chew, a clerk in the Department of State, were now sent 
to Charleston. If, on reaching the city, Talbot found the 
flag still flying over Sumter, and the fort not fired on, he was 
to read these words to Governor Pickens : "I am directed by 
the President of the United States to notify you to expect an 
attempt will be made to supply Fort Sumter with provisions 
only, and that if such attempt is not resisted no effort to 
throw in men, arms or ammunition will be made without 
further notice, or in case of attack." f Should the fort have 
been evacuated or given up, Talbot was to return. 

Alarmed by the rumors current in Washington, and by 
the reported activity in the Brooklyn navy yard, the Con- 
federate Commissioners telegraphed Toombs that events 1 
made it necessary to require a reply to their note of the 
twelfth of March, and that they would notify Seward that 
evening that a messenger would call for an answer at two 
o'clock on the morrow. Should it be unsatisfactory, they 
would consider the gauntlet thrown down, and close their 
mission. On the afternoon of the eighth, accordingly, 
Pickett went to Seward's home, met his son, and received 
the memorandum of March fifteenth refusing official recog- 
nition to the Commissioners. They at once telegraphed 
Toombs they would leave the city. 

* Nicolay and Hay's Abraham Lincoln, vol. iii, pp. 448-449. 
f Official Records, Series 1, vol. i, p. 245. April 6, 1861. 

i86i SUMTEE. TO BE HELD. gj 

A journey of two days brought Talbot and Chew to 
Charleston late on the afternoon of the tenth. Without loss 
of time Talbot betook himself to the Governor, told him of 
the written instructions and said that Mr. Chew asked for an 
interview. Consent was given. Chew was brought in, read 
the notice, and handed a copy to Governor Pickens who said 
that Beauregard was in charge of military matters, sent for 
him, and delivered to him the copy of the message. Talbot, 
as instructed by Cameron, then asked if he might return to 
duty in the fort. Beauregard refused. Talbot then asked 
if he might visit Anderson if he promised to return to 
Charleston. This too was refused, and having no further 
business he announced his wish to go North that night, and 
with Chew was escorted by two staff officers to the hotel. 
There some excitement was aroused by their presence; but in 
time they were quietly taken out a rear door and driven to 
the railroad depot in a carriage. The train left at eleven 
o'clock that night ; but by order of Beauregard connections 
were missed at Florence and Richmond, and so much delay 
caused that not until the morning of the twelfth did the two 
reach Washington.* 

No sooner had they left the Governor than. Beauregard 
telegraphed the news to Montgomery, and just before mid- 
night the sleeping citizens in Charleston were awakened by the 
booming of seven guns from the citadel. This was the signal 
for the gathering of the reserves, and in a few minutes the 
wet and misty streets were noisy with the tramp of volunteers 
hurrying to their commands, and of friends and relations 
eager to see them go. As company after company marched to 
the boats, the thunder, it was said, pealed a salute, and the 
lightning lit up the bright bayonets and glazed knapsacks, f 
Meantime a wild rumor spread about the town that Anderson 
had shown signal lights, and that a fleet of "United States 
steamers was off the bar. No signals had been made. No 
steamers were off the bar. Indeed, they were but just start- 
ing, and none too soon, for the press and the people in the 

* Talbot's Report, Official Records of the Union and Confederate 
Armies, Series 1, vol. i, pp. 251-252. 
t Charleston Mercury, April 9, 1861. 


LN"orth were growing restive. Had not forbearance, it was 
asked, about ceased to be a virtue ? A month of kindness had 
been wasted on the rebels, and they were growing more re- 
bellious, more arrogant every day.* The Rebellion must be 
put down at aU costs, or our Government will be broken in! 
pieces. If the Union is worth anything it is worth fighting 
for. Late accounts indicate vigorous action; but not before 
it is demanded, f The fatal incubus of suspense and un- 
certainty hangs over and paralyzes the business of all classes, 
and is worse than a state of war. To hesitate longer to en- 
force the Federal authority will so alienate the friends of 
the Administration as to leave it wrecked and stranded with- 
out a party, a Government, a country. $ At last the time has 
come for action. Supplies have been cut off from Snorter. 
A hundred starving men cry out for bread to sustain them in 
defending the flag. Food must be furnished, peaceably if 
possible, but furnished at any cost. There was a sudden and 
grateful relief in the public mind when news came that the 
Government was moving vigorously at the navy yard and 
military stations. "Thank God," said Scott as Lincoln 
closed his inaugural, "we now have a Government." Thanki 
God, exclaimed every true-hearted American, we now have 
a Government that will protect us from villainy, fraud and 
treason. || 

The fleet having sailed, and the notice having been given, 
the Commissioners telegraphed Toombs they would start 
for home at once, f and "Walker ordered Beauregard, if he 
had no doubt of the authorized character of the messenger 
from Lincoln, to demand the evacuation of Sumter, and if 
refused reduce the fort. 

Beauregard answered that the demand would be made at 
noon on the following day. Walker bade him do it sooner, 
unless special reasons prevented. Beauregard replied that 

* Scioto Gazette, 
t Burlington Hawkeye. 
$Peoria Transcript. 
Boston Argus. 
1 1 New Hampshire Sentinel. 

II Official Records, Union and Confederate Navies, Series 1. vol. iv, 
p. 260. 


there were special reasons, held, fast to Ms plan, and at two 
o'clock on tlie eleventh a boat carrying Colonel James Chesnut 
and Captain Stephen D. Lee left the wharf at Charleston, 
with the formal demand for surrender. 

Every proper aid would be given for removal of the little 
"band to any post in the United States Anderson might select. 
Company arms and property and private properly might be 
taken away, and the flag, so long upheld with such fortitude 
under the most trying circumstances, might be saluted when 
taken down.* Anderson returned his thanks for the gener- 
ous terms, but declared the demand was one with which his 
sense of honor and his duty to his Government prevented 
compliance, f As he handed this answer to the waiting Con- 
federates he remarked: "Gentlemen, if you do not batter 
the fort to pieces about us, we shall be starved out in a few 
days." $ This refusal having been telegraphed to Mont- 
gomery, Walker at once authorized Beauregard "to avoid the 
effusion of blood" if Anderson would state when he would 
evacuate, and would agree, meanwhile, not to use his guns 
unless those of the Confederates were used against him. If 
he refused, the fort must be reduced. 

About midnight, therefore, Chesnut and Lee came again 
to Sumter with a note from Beauregard, telling Anderson if 
he would enter into such an agreement as Walker proposed, 
the aids had authority to conclude it. |) At half past two 
o'clock Anderson replied that if provided with transporta- 
tion he would evacuate the fort at noon on the fifteenth, un- 
less, ere that time, he received "controlling instructions" from 
his Government, or additional supplies, f Having read the 
reply the aides, without consulting Beauregard, at twenty 
minutes after three notified Anderson in writing that in one 
hour from that time the Confederate batteries would open 
fire. At half past four, accordingly, on the morning of 
April twelfth, a gun fired at Eort Johnson gave the signal, 

* April 11, 1861, McPherson, History of the Rebellion, p. 113. 

f Ibid. 

$ McPherson, History of the Rebellion, p. 113. 


|| Ibid. 

H Ibid,, April 12, 1861. 


a shell from a mortar on Morris Island rose in a graceful 
curve high in the air, burst almost over the fort, and the 
bombardment of Sumter began. 

The day had been one of hurry and excitement in Charles- 
ton. Aides, couriers, soldiers hastened to and fro; cannon 
rambled through the streets on their way to the wharves; 
militia from the interior of the State came by hundreds into 
the city, and every train brought scores of people from the 
towns, some to fight and many to behold the expected bombard- 
ment. As the report spread that a demand for the surrender 
of Sumter was to be made, the citizens hurried to the Battery, 
the wharves, to every spot from which the fort could be 
seen. Towards evening, after the return of Colonel Chesnut 
and his companions from their first visit to Anderson, rumor 
had it that the fight would begin at eight o'clock. Nobody 
knew just why that hour was chosen, but the report was be- 
lieved, the crowd along the water front grew larger and larger 
and waited patiently till almost midnight when it dispersed. 
Roused from sleep in the early morning by the firing on the 
fort, the whole population of the city rushed to some place of 
vantage to see the fight. Housetops, steeples, wharves, the 
Battery were alive with onlookers. And what a spectacle, 
said one who saw it, did they behold ! The stream of bombs 
from Fort Moultrie, Fort Johnson, Cummings Point, from 
all the batteries ; the exploding flash, the thick white ball of 
smoke, all projected against the dark background of clouds 
along the horizon, made a picture as grand as it was awful. 
Towards seven o'clock Sumter opened on Cummings Point, 
then on Sullivan's Island, then, on Fort Moultrie, and all 
day long the duel continued. Three times the barracks in 
Sumter burst into flames. So accurate was the vertical fire 
that half the shells came within, or exploded over, the fort, 
and the men were driven by the horizontal fire from the 
barbette guns. By noon cartridges ran low, the fire from 
Sumter slackened, and when evening came ceased, though 
the Confederates threw shells from time to time all night. 

At three o'clock on the morning of the twelfth, just before 
Anderson received the notice from Chesnut and Lee, the 


Baltic arrived at the meeting place, ten miles off Charleston 
bar, and found the Harriet Lane awaiting her. At six the 
the Pawnee came, and was hoarded by Eox. He told her 
commander Kowan, of his orders to take provisions into 
Sumter, and asked that he stand in to the bar with the Baltic. 
Eowan replied that his orders were to await the Powhatan 
ten miles off the bar, and that he was not going in to start 
a civil war. The Baltic then stood in followed by the Harriet 
Lane. As they neared the harbor the sound of heavy guns, the 
shells, and smoke made known that the attack on Fort Sum- 
ter had begun. Fox thereupon went hack to inform Com- 
mander Eowan of the Pawnee, met him coming in, boarded 
his vessel, found him determined to enter the harbor and 
share the fate of his brethren of the army, and told him that 
the Government did not expect such a gallant sacrifice. But 
the Pawnee went on and anchored on the outer edge of 
Swash Channel. No other vessel of the fleet came that day. 
The tug Freelorn never left New York; a heavy gale drove 
the Uncle Ben into Wilmington, where the Confederates 
captured her; and three days passed before the Yankee came, 
after all was over.* 

As soon as it was light on the morning of the thirteenth the 
guns again opened on Sumter. At nine the officers' quarters 
took fire, the flames spread to the barracks, and by eleven 
o'clock it became necessary to close the magazine. Fifty 
barrels of powder were taken out and put in the casemates 
ere the doors were shut. But the cloud of cinders that 
poured into the casemates, setting fire to the beds and boxes, 
made it necessary to throw all but five barrels into the sea. 
The smoke, blown by a strong south wind, almost suffocated 
the men and forced them to lie down and cover their faces 
with wet rags, or seek fresh air at the embrasures. Firing 
from Sumter soon ceased, but, as the Confederate batteries 
poured forth shot and shell more fiercely than ever, Captain 
Doubleday ordered a few rounds to be fired that the enemy 

* Fox, Memoranda of facts concerning the attempt to send supplies 
to Fort Sumter in 1861. Official Kecords, Union and Confederate 
Navies, Series 1, rol. ir, pp. 249-250. Beport of Commander Rcrwan, 
ibid., p. 253. 


might know that the garrison was still undaunted. At each 
discharge the Confederates, mounted on the batteries, cheered 
the garrison for its pluck and hooted the fleet lying outside.* 
The silence of Sumter and the dense cloud of smoke that 
hung over it led Beauregard, towards noon, to send three 
aids to General Simons on Morris Island to find out the 
condition of the fort and if the fire had forced evacuation. 
As they passed Sumter the flag was still flying; but after a 
conference with Simons it was decided that to offer aid was 
no more than human, and while a flag of truce and a boat 
were being made ready the flagstaff on Sumter was shot 
away, f As quickly as possible the flag was attached to a 
spar and fastened to a gun carriage on the parapet. Mean- 
time Wigfall, with a private soldier in a skiff rowed by two 
negroes, pushed off from shore, reached and entered the fort. $ 
He acted without authority, and from his interview with 
Anderson came a serious misunderstanding. Eepresenting 
himself as coming from Beauregard he demanded the sur- 
render of the fort and understood Anderson to do so un- 
conditionally. Anderson was willing to accept the terms 
offered on the eleventh, and believing this agreed to, lowered 
his flag, and Wigfall returned to Morris Island, announced 
the unconditional surrender and went on to Charleston. 
The fall of the flag and the visit of Wigfall gave rise to an 
idle story which towards evening spread about the city and 
was believed. The officers on Morris Island, so the story 
ran, seeing the flag go down, with true Southern chivalry 
sent a boat with another flag that the gallant defenders might 
have one to fight under. 

When Beauregard heard the flag was gone, he sent off 
two more officers with offers of aid. About halfway to Sumter 
they saw the flag raised and turned back, but when halfway 

* Beauregard's Eeport, Official Becords, Union and Confederate 
Armies, Series 1, vol. i, p, 32. 

f Report of Chesnut, Chisolm and Manning-. Ibid, p 61 

t Ibid., p. 61. 

April 13, Beauregard to Walker: "Anderson surrenders to the 
Confederate Government unconditionally, but I have granted Mm the 
same terms as on the llth instant." 


to Charleston they beheld the white flag, turned about and 
reached the fort. Anderson declined their offer of help, and 
expressed surprise to hear that they came from Beauregard. 
"Gentlemen/' said he ; "do I understand yon come direct 
from General Beauregard V 9 "Yes." "Why* Colonel Wigf all 
has just been here as an aide to, and by authority of , General 
Beauregard, and proposed the same terms of evacuation as 
offered on the eleventh.* 

They assured him that Wigf all had been on Morris Island 
for two days, had not seen Beauregard during that time and 
did not act under orders. Anderson, thereupon, declared 
he would raise the flag and go on with the fight, but was 
dissuaded and agreed to wait until Beauregard could be in- 
formed. Later in the afternoon two other officers came and 
to them the fort was surrendered about seven o'clock on the 
evening of the thirteenth of April, f 

The fall of the colors was also seen by the squadron. On 
the night of the twelfth Fox on the Baltic left the Pawnee 
and the Harriet Lane off the bar, went to sea and spent the 
night making signals for the PowTiatan, for he did not then 
know she had been sent to Pensacola. The morning of the 
thirteenth was foggy and the Baltic, in making her way in, 
grounded, but got off and because of the heavy swell wag 
forced to anchor in deep water outside the Pawnee and 
Harriet Lane. At eight o'clock Eox was rowed over to the 
Pawnee. As all believed no loaded boats could reach Sumter 
in the heavy sea then running it was decided to seize a 
schooner then beating in towards the harbor, load her with 
provisions and run her in at night. The seizure was made 
and while the work of loading her was under way the flag 
went down on Sumter, and Lieutenant Marcy was sent with a 
flag of truce to Cummings Point to find out if Anderson had 
surrendered and if so, arrange for bringing the garrison away 
in the squadron. The answer was that he had surrendered 

* Report of Captain S. D. Lee, Roger A. Pryor and William Porcher 
Mills. Official Records of Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, 
vol. i, pp. 63, 64. 

f Official Records, Union and Confederate Annies, Series 1, vol. i, 
pp. 64, 65. 


and that a reply to the offer to take away the garrison would 
be made In the morning. 

Charleston on the afternoon and night of the thirteenth 
was a scene of revelry. The citizens were crazy with delight. 
Men on horseback rode about the streets shouting the news. 
Bells were rung, and guns were fired. The bay was crowded 
with craft. Eestaurants, clubs, bars, tap rooms were filled. 
The churches were opened and a Te Deum was sung with 
great pomp in the Catholic Cathedral. Another idle story, 
told and told again with delight and firmly believed, was 
that when Anderson came before Beauregard he said, he 
surrendered his sword to the representative of the Confeder- 
ate Government, and that the chivalrie Southerner replied, 
"I will not receive the sword of so brave a man." * 

By the terms of surrender the garrison was to march out 
with company property and private property and salute the 
flag on leaving. On Sunday the fourteenth of April, all being 
ready, the flag was raised, and after a salute of fifty guns, 
lowered for the last time. Anderson had intended that a 
hundred guns be fired ; but the premature discharge of a gun 
killed one man and wounded five others. This hindered 
departure until four o'clock when the little garrison boarded 
the steamer Isabel. It was then too late to cross the bar, but 
early on the fifteenth they were carried to the Baltic and 
started on their way north. 

* Dispatch from Charleston, evening of April 13, New York Herald, 
April 14, 1861. Philadelphia Press, April 14, 1861. 





OVEE all -the North, the progress of the battle in Charleston 
harbor was watched with feelings of depression, anxiety and 
alarm. Newspapers in the great cities on the morning of 
April twelfth announced that a demand for the surrender of 
Sumter had been made, that it had been refused, and that 
Charleston expected the bombardment to begin at any mo- 
ment. By noon the bulletin boards reported that the opening 
shot had been fired, and from time to time during the night 
gave such scraps of information as came by telegraph. The 
journals of the thirteenth published the letters which passed 
between Beauregard and Walker before the firing began, 
and such dispatches describing the progress of the battle as 
were received before midnight on the twelfth. Washington 
was thrown into intense excitement, for the city was "known 
to be full of Confederate sympathizers, and the departments 
were believed to be full of Confederate spies. The Secretary 
of War at once detailed the Union Mechanic Eifles, a company 
of sixty men employed in building the great dome, to guard 
the Capitol, and sent regulars to the outskirts of the city 
to watch every approach. When the news reached Columbus, 
the legislature of Ohio was in session. Suddenly, a Senator 
entered its Chamber, caught the eye of the presiding officer 
and said: "The Secessionists are bombarding Port Sumter." 

All proceedings stopped instantly. Not a sound was heard* 
until the silence was broken by the voice of a woman crying: 
"Glory to God." The voice was that of Abby Kelly Foster, 
a lifelong leader of the anti-slavery party. 

The fourteenth of April fell on Sunday. In the churches 
in many cities prayers were offered for the safety of the little 
band in Sumter, and the services ended with the singing of 
the "Star Spangled Banner." By ten o'clock the crowds 
about the bulletin boards and on the streets knew that Ander- 


son had surrendered, and that the Confederate flag floated 
over Sumter. Some would not believe the dispatch. Some 
openly accused Anderson of treachery,* a charge which led to 
many a fight. All loyal men for awhile were depressed ; but, 
as the day wore on, flags appeared, the population of every 
village, town, and city poured into the streets, politics were 
forgotten and men of all parties declared for the Union. 

In Philadelphia, on lionday excitement rose high. A 
crowd gathered in the streets, visited every hotel, every news- 
paper office and forced the owners to display a flag, if they 
had not already done so; visited the post-office and finding 
that the Government had not provided the postmaster with aj 
flag, procured one for him ; visited the shops of merchants and 
the homes of citizens suspected of sympathy for the South 
and required a flag to he hung out, and continued their 
demonstration until late in the night when a drenching rain 
sent the rioters home. 

Newspaper baiting soon spread to UsTew York where, on 
the afternoon of the seventeenth, a crowd gathered before 
the door of the Daily News, a paper of strong Southern sym- 
pathy, and demanded that a Union flag be shown, and it was. 
The crowd then moved down Chatham Street to the office of 
the Day Book, another Southern sheet. As was suspected the 
proprietor did not own a Union flag, but quicHy borrowed 
one from Tammany Hall near by. ISTo staff was on the 
building, so the clerks hung it from a window where the 
crowd saw upon it in large letters the word "Tammany." 
The Express and the Journal of Commerce, anti-war papers, 
were made to display flags, f 

In every great city and, indeed, in many small ones, were 
newspapers which did not hesitate to cry out against the 
war. The Eastern Argus in Portland, Maine, maintained 
that the war was the work of extremists, North and South. 
Let them fight it out. Each day of bloody work would 
strengthen the ranks of the conservatives who, when the 
outburst of fanaticism had spent itself in butchery and blood, 

* New York Courier and Enquirer, April 15, 1861. 
JNew York Herald, April 18, 1861. 



would mend the wreck, rebuild the Government, and run it. 
If we are to have war, the Sag Harbor Corrector asked, who 
is to do the fighting ? The army of the United States, some 
sixteen thousand strong, cannot do it. Volunteers must be 
called for, and who will be the first to rush to the fratricidal 
strife? Will it be the Union men who believe that Bepub- 
licanism is sectional and wrong ? Kb. They will be loath to 
battle for its sectionalism. It will not be easy to enlist men 
for civil war. Men of the ISTorth will not form an army of 
invasion. <<We say, do not dismember the Union; but if we 
must part let us do it peaceably." A more unnatural, un- 
hallowed war, in the opinion of the Buffalo Republic never 
disgraced the pages of history. Suppose the wrongs of the 
South were imaginary. They were none the less a potent 
force, nor the less worthy of serious treatment. The cry 
of the people should be for peace, and should ring through- 
out the land before the work of disunion rent the Government 
in^ twain. Compromise, the Harrisburg Patriot and Union 
said, and nothing else could save the Union. Civil war 
would ruin it, and plant in the parted sections feelings of 
hatred that would make reunion impossible.* 

Members of the bar who happened to be in the Court of 
Quarter Sessions at Lancaster, renewed their oath to support 
the Constitution of the United States. The legislature at 
Harrisburg had before it a bill appropriating a million and 
a half of dollars for arming the State. It was promptly 
passed. At Pittsburgh excitement was intense, business 
stopped, enlisting began in earnest, and the people at a meet- 
ing in the City Hall, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and 
their sacred honor in defense of the Union, and appointed a 
Committee of Safety, f The merchants of Cincinnati agreed 
to ship no more goods south. Men over forty-five formed a 
Home Guard for defense of the city, and the citizens, with- 
out regard to party, held a great Union meeting. Members 
of the Detroit bar adopted resolutions denouncing the Con- 
federate States, and binding themselves to stand by the old 
flag at all hazards and to the last extremity. A mass meeting 

* New York Tribune, April 17, 1861. 
t Philadelphia Press, April 16, 1861. 


at Cleveland pledged support to tlie Government, approved 
the call for troops and recommended the legislature to ap- 
propriate money. Another at Toledo expressed determi- 
nation to stand by the Government at all hazards, and made 
arrangements for the enrollment of volunteers. 

During the day Douglas visited the President, and urged 
him to action. Though unalterably opposed to the Adminis- 
tration and all its policies Douglas was ready to uphold the 
President in the use of his constitutional powers to preserve 
the Union, and save the Capitol. A firm policy and quick 
action were necessary, Washington was in danger and must 
be defended at all hazards.* Lincoln, was greatly pleased 
by this visit, but did not need the advice. That night a call 
for troops was telegraphed to the Governors of all the States 
and made public in the morning newspapers of the fifteenth.f 
Laws of the United States, so ran the proclamation, for some 
time past, had been, and were then, resisted and their ex- 
ecution obstructed in seven States by combinations too power- 
ful to be overcome by the ordinary course of judicial pro- 
ceedings, or by the powers vested in the Marshals by law. 

Therefore, by virtue of the power vested in him by the 
Constitution and the laws, he called forth the militia of 
the States to the amount of seventy-five thousand men to put 
down the combinations and cause the laws to be executed. 
They would be used to repossess the places, forts and property 
seized from the Union, and so far as consistent with this pur- 
pose there would be no devastation, no destruction of prop- 
erty, no disturbance of peaceful citizens in any part of the 
country. Congress was summoned to meet in special session 
at noon on Thursday the fourth of July. 

The Act of 1795, which authorized the President to call 
for militia to put down insurrection, repel invasion and exe- 
cute the laws of the United States, limited the time of their 
service to three months in any one year. $ A letter from the 
Secretary of War to the Governors of the States, therefore, 

* Philadelphia Press, April 15, 1861. 


t Act of February 28, 1795. 


stated that the militia would be three months in service. The 
response of the Governors was immediate.* Your call will 
be promptly met, telegraphed one. The people of Maine, of 
all parties, will maintain the Union. ~New Hampshire will 
furnish the men required. Vermont will respond promptly. 
Governor Andrew of Massachusetts asked by what route he 
should send troops. Rhode Island was making every effort 
to be first in the field. Connecticut would give the requisition 
every attention. The legislature of ]STew York was to ad- 
journ without delay on the sixteenth of April. As soon as 
it met on the fifteenth, Governor Morgan, without waiting 
for notice from the Secretary of War, called attention to the 
proclamation of the President, and asked for men and money 
for public defense, f Three million dollars was appropri- 
ated, and provision made for the enlistment of not more 
thirty thousand militia for two years. $ We will furnish the 
largest number you receive, replied the Governor of Ohio. I 
tender you for defense of the Nation and maintenance of the 
Government ten thousand men, said Governor Morton of 
Indiana. Wisconsin would promptly meet the call and fur- 
nish more men when needed. 

From the Governor of Iowa, came assurance to Lincoln 
that nine-tenths of the people were with him, and would be 
with him in sympathy so long as the present policy was 
followed, and would be with him in person when needed. 

"Could you," asked the Governor of Pennsylvania, "ac- 
cept Eingold's Artillery of Eeading? They are ready to 
start." "Yes," was Cameron's reply. "Can move two regi- 
ments this week, but they are not uniformed Will that do ?" 
asked the Governor of Ohio. "Yes," answered Cameron, 
"send them on." Michigan sent word that her regiment 
would be ready in thirty days, if need be, and fifty thousand' 
more men when wanted. Cameron did not think ther$ 
was any occasion for such hurry in the start for Washington 

* Official Records, Union and Confederate Armies, Series 3, vol. i, 
p. 71. 

t Messages from the Governors, State of New York, vol. v, pp. 356- 

*Laws of New York, 1861. Cliapter 277, April 15. 


and telegraphed the Governors of Maine, I~ew Hampshire, 
Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, that their troops need 
not be ready before the twentieth of May.* 

Very different were the replies from slave-holding States 
not in the Confederacy. In Delaware before the arrival 
of the mail on the morning of the fifteenth, a call to arms was 
issued from the office of the Delaware Republican, headed: 
"Rally to your Country's Call." "War, it was said, has been 
brought upon the country by the rebels of the South. They 
have struck the first blow against the liberties of the people. 
Shall they subjugate us, or shall we arise and defend the 
Government? To decide this a meeting was called and 
amidst great enthusiasm scores of men offered to volunteer. 
At Newark seventy-five men organized and through the press 
appealed for revolvers, f One regiment, the quota of the 
State, was quickly raised and mustered into the service of 
the United States. $ Not till ten days later did the Governor 
issue his proclamation. A requisition, he said, has been 
made by the Secretary of "War for one regiment to be de- 
tached from the militia to serve for three months. But the 
laws of the State conferred no such authority on the Governor, 
and there was no organized militia. Therefore let volunteer 
companies be formed for protection of the lives and property 
of the people. They would be under the control of the 
State authorities, and mustered into the service of the United 
States. Governor Hicks of Maryland would detail four 
regiments to serve within the State or for defense of "Wash- 
ington, Tour object, said Governor Letcher of Virginia, is 
to subjugate the Southern States and a requisition made on 
me for such a purpose will not be complied with. You have 
chosen to inaugurate civil war, and having done so we will 
meet it in a spirit as determined as the Administration has 
exhibited towards the South. [| "Your dispatch is received," 

* Official Records, Series 3, vol. i, pp. 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 82, 
t Philadelphia Press, April 17, 30, 1861, 

$ Official Record, Union and Confederate Armies, Series 3, vol. i, pp. 
124, 125. 

Dated April 25, 1861. 
1| Official Records, Series 3, vol. i, p. 76. 



telegraphed Governor Magoffin of Kentucky. 'In answer I 
say emphatically, Kentucky will furnish no troops for the 
wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern States. * 
Governor Ellis of USTorth Carolina would furnish none. Levy- 
ing troops to subjugate the States of the South was a violation 
of the Constitution, and a usurpation of power. He would 
be no party to such a wicked violation of the law, nor to a war 
on the liberties of a free people. "You can get no troops 
from Worth Carolina." f "Tennessee/ 7 replied Governor 
Harris, "will not furnish a single man for coercion, but fifty 
thousand for defense of our rights or those of our Southern 
brethren." $ Jackson of Missouri pronounced the requisition 
"illegal, unconstitutional and revolutionary in its object, in- 
human and diabolical," and refused to honor it. -Not one! 
man would Missouri furnish to carry on such an unholy cru- 
sade. None will be furnished, said Eector of Arkansas. 
"The demand is only adding insult to injury." || 

In the South, as news of the fall of Sumter spread from 
city to city, the people went wild with joy. Norfolk, Augusta, 
Montgomery, Mobile, welcomed it with salutes of one hun- 
dred guns. The men of Gainsboro hung on the ruins of the 
old Court House an effigy of Lincoln inscribed, "May all 
abolitionists meet the same fate." The men of Richmond 
formed a procession, marched to the Tredegar Iron "Works 
with a Confederate flag, witnessed the raising of another 
while a band played the Marseillaise, hurried to the arsenal, 
seized some cannon, dragged them to the steps of the Senate 
Chamber and fired a salute. A score of men entered the 
Capitol and raised a Confederate flag over the roof of the 
House of Delegates, while a mass meeting resolved, "That 
we rejoice with high, exultant, heartfelt joy at the triumph 
of the Southern Confederacy over the accursed government 
at Washington in the capture of Fort Sumter." After night- 
fall there were bonfires, a torchlight procession and lights in 

* Official Records, Union and Confederate Armies, Series 3, vol. i, 
p. 70. 

t Ibid., p. 72. 
$Ibid., p. 81. 
Ibid., p. 83. 
|| Ibid., p. 99-. 


every window. Before dawn tlie Confederate flag on the 
Capitol was removed by order of Governor Letcher.* 

All honor to South Carolina, wrote the editor of a Kich- 
mond journal, nobly does she hold her place in the van of 
the Southern Column. If one little State can thus vindicate 
the sacredness of her soil, how can the ^Torth expect to sub- 
jugate a united South ? f We believe that right is with our 
brethren of the South. We look on the Government in assail- 
ing them as representing not the Union, but a malignant 
fanaticism which takes the name of Union in vain. The 
war which the Government has begun is a wanton, desperate, 
wicked crusade against the homes and rights of the South 
and the principles of self-government. 

The call of Lincoln for troops was said to have greatly 
increased secession feeling in Alexandria. Business was 
suspended, and the belief expressed that Virginia would at 
once leave the Union. Wilmington read it with contempt 
and indignation. Richmond received it with execration. 
Nothing could be more helpful to the cause of secession. 
Military men declared they would not obey it. At Mont- 
gomery the Confederate Cabinet was said to have greeted 
the reading of it with shouts of laughter. Stephens, speaking 
at Atlanta, said, seventy-five times seventy-five thousand 
troops would be needed to intimidate the South, and then she 
would not stay intimidated. The Confederate Government 
met it with a call for thirty-two thousand men, and Presi- 
dent Davis issued a proclamation inviting applications for 
letters of marque and reprisal. 

Abraham Lincoln, so the proclamation ran, having an- 
nounced his intention to invade the Confederate States with 
armed forces to capture its fortresses and overthrow its in- 
dependence, all who wished to aid the Government in resist- 
ing so wanton and wicked an aggression were invited to 
apply for letters of marque and reprisal. That Davis had 
authority to issue letters of marque on his own responsibility 
was vigorously denied in South Carolina, and in many places 

* Richmond Enquirer, April 15, 1861. 

t Richmond Dispatch, New York Tribune, April 27, 1861. 

$ New York Herald, April 30, 1861. 


in the Confederacy, To do so was peculiarly the prerogative 
of Congress and he should, it was held, have waited until 
that body assembled. 

Sitting in secret session, the Virginia Convention passed 
an ^ordinance of secession. The people of Virginia, the 
ordinance asserted, in their ratification of the Federal 'Con- 
stitution had declared the powers granted might be recalled 
whenever the same were used to their injury. The Federal 
Government having used those powers not only to the injury 
of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the South- 
ern States, the ordinance whereby the Constitution of the 
United States was ratified, and all acts of the Assembly 
adopting amendments, are repealed and abrogated. The 
Union between Virginia and the other States is dissolved. 
Virginia is in full possession of all her rights of Sovereignty, 
and the Constitution of the United States is no longer binding 
on her citizens.* The ordinance was not to go into efiect 
until ratified by a majority of the people at a poll to be taken 
on the fourth Thursday in May; but from one end of the 
South to the other Virginia was hailed as out of the Union. 
In Richmond a crowd tore down and broke in pieces a gilded 
sign on which were the words ""United States Court," and 
Confederate flags were run up on the State Capitol, the Cus- 
toms House, the hotels and private dwellings. At Mont- 
gomery a Confederate flag with eight stars, one for Virginia, 
was raised over the Capitol. In Charleston, Augusta, Mobile, 
ISTew Orleans, the glad tidings were hailed with bell ringing, 
cannon and shouts of the people. 

There were those in Virginia, however, who did not intend 
to wait for a call to arms. Late on the fifteenth of April, 
John D. Imboden, then commanding the Staunton Artillery, 
was summoned to Richmond by the editor of the Enquirer. 
Reaching there on the morning of the sixteenth he was met 
in the streets by ex-Grovernor Wise, and asked to find among 
the delegates to the Convention as many officers of the armed 
volunteers as he could, and invite them to come to the Ex- 
change Hotel that evening. Four officers and the superior 

*Nw York Tribune, April 29, 1861. 


tendent of the Government works at Harpers Ferry were 
found, and these, with Imboden and "Wise, met at the ap- 
pointed time, decided to capture the works at Harpers Ferry, 
and to begin the movement the following day. The seven- 
teenth was spent in preparation, and at sunrise on the eight- 
eenth the Staunton Artillery, the Monticello Guards, the 
Albemarle Rifles and a Oulpeper company were at Manasses 
Junction. Nightfall found them at "Winchester whence the 
little army, much increased in size, marched to Halltown 
four miles from the Ferry.* The attack was to be made at 
daybreak; but just after ten o'clock a bright light showed 
that the works were on fire. 

The Union force at the arsenal consisted of Lieutenant 
Jones and forty-five men. Fully aware that he was to be at- 
tacked, he placed piles of powder and straw in the buildings, 
telegraphed Scott that several companies of troops had gath- 
ered at Halltown and that he was prepared to destroy the 
buildings, and retreat into Pennsylvania. Scarcely had he 
sent the dispatch when word came that twenty-five hundred 
men were on their march from Winchester. The order to 
apply the torch was instantly given, and in a few minutes 
the arsenal buildings and the carpenter shop were wrapped in 
flames. Jones and his men fled over the bridge and reached 
Carlisle. Fifteen minutes after they left, the Virginia 
troops entered the yard and put out the fires in the shops ; 
but the rifles were destroyed, f 

In the loyal States, meantime, the people were rising. 
Regiments were recruiting, companies were forming, armo- 
ries were crowded, and men with fife and drum were march- 
ing up and down the streets of the Eastern cities seeking! 

-New York militia regiments, some of which had less than 
the required seven hundred and eighty men, opened recruit- 
ing stations and asked aid of their friends and the public for 
the purchase of arms and equipment. A score of independent 

* Narrative of General John D. Imboden. Battles and Leaders of 
the Civil War, vol. i, pp. 111-117. 

f Report of Lt. Roger Jones, April 18, 19, 20, 1861. Official Records, 
Series 1, vol. ii, pp. 3-5. 


companies, and citizens with, and withont military experience, 
advertised for volunteers, and in a few days the city was 
turned into a huge recruiting station. Colonel Baker ap- 
pealed to old Calif ornians to join his California Regiment. 
Alderman Barry organized the Barry Volunteers. The usual 
way was to announce the proposal to raise a company or 
regiment, and invite all willing to join to come on a certain 
morning to some saloon, hotel or public hall. There organi- 
zation would be begun and in a few days half a dozen recruit- 
ing stations would be opened and the company, regiment, or} 
battalion, quickly formed. In this way "Billy Wilson," a 
8 noted character in the city, raised the Wilson Zouaves ; Daniel 
E. Sickles, the Excelsior Brigade, which in time was joined 
by the Buena Vista Guards of Philadelphia ; Abraham Dur- 
yea, the Advance Guard Zouaves ; and Elmer E. Ellsworth, 
the New York Fire Zouaves, composed entirely of men taken 
from the Fire Companies of the city. 

Nor were the foreign-born citizens and residents less active 
than the natives. Colonel D'Utassy called on all who had 
seen service in foreign wars to enlist in the Garibaldi Guards ; 
a well-to-do Polish merchant organized the Polish Legion, 
which was soon joined by the Italian Legion. The English 
and Irish Home Guards were to be composed of men who 
had served in the British Army, the Irish Constabulary, the 
Dublin and Revenue Police ; the Cuban Volunteers, of natives 
of that Island, and the British Volunteers of subjects of her 
Majesty resident in New York. The Irishmen furnished 
four regiments ; the 69th, St. Patrick Brigade, Irish Volun- 
teers, and the Irish Zouaves, raised by Thomas Francis 
Meagher. The Steuben Volunteers, the German Eifles raised 
by Colonel Louis Blenker, the Turner Eifles and the DeKalb 
Eegiment were all composed of Germans. A company of 
Hungarians joined the Garibaldi Guards. Students at the 
Free Academy, now the College of the City of New York, 
formed a Company of Zouaves. 

In Philadelphia the news of the fall of Sumter was in- 
stantly followed by calls for young men of spirit to rally 
round" the standard of the Union and enroll in some volun- 
teer company old or new. There were the Union Guards, 


the Washington Guards, Jackson Guards, Anderson Guards, 
Emmet Guards, Buena Vista Guards, the State Fencibles, 
the Black Hussars, the Garde Lafayette, the Philadelphia 
Greys, the Washington Brigade and many more from which 
to make a choice. 

Non-fighters, women, men too old to enter the ranks, 
heads of banks and corporations who could not abandon, their 
trusts at a moment's notice, ministers, judges, physicians, 
members of legislature and city government, all who, for any 
reason, could not bear arms were summoned to do their part 
at home, give their labor and spend their money to provide 
for the health and comfort of the soldiers, and to support the 
families they left behind. A notice in the daily papers re- 
quested the ladies of New York to meet in the Church of 
the Puritans in Union Square and form an association to 
furnish hospital supplies to be used in aid of the volunteers 
who might be wounded in the struggle "between the Govern- 
ment and traitors." They met and formed the "New York 
Ladies' Kelief Union, to raise funds, send out nurses, and 
procure hospital supplies for the sick and wounded.* The 
"New York Ladies' Army Aid Association met in. the Home 
for the Friendless, to make lint, bandages and clothing to 
be used in hospitals. One of the theaters gave the proceeds 
of a night towards a fund to equip volunteers, f A depot 
for receiving and furnishing medical supplies, given by citi- 
zens, was opened at Cooper Union. $ A meeting of women 
in Clinton Hall took under its care the families of volunteers. 
It was not its purpose to send nurses, nor provide lint and 
bandages, but visit, comfort, sympathize with, help the wives 
and families of soldiers at the front. A public meeting held 
in Cooper Union founded the Ladies 5 Home Samaritan Asso- 
ciation. |I Thus started, the movement spread over the whole 
city till in almost every household the women were scraping 
lint, making bandages and underclothes. 

* New York Herald, April 22, 1861. 
f Ibid., April 23, 1861. 
$ Ibid., April 25, 1861. 
Ibid., April 26, 1861. 
II Ibid., April 27, 1861. 


All these and many more associations were working with- 
out concert, with no general organization or head, and with 
little knowledge of the needs of the army, the sick, or the 
wounded. This seemed so unwise that a hundred women 
signed a call for a meeting in Cooper Union, for the pur- 
pose of appointing a general committee to organize all work- 
ers in a common association, obtain money, lint, bandages, 
hospital supplies, and secure efficient nurses.* The name 
Woman's Central Association of Eelief was taken, and its 
objects announced to be gathering of information concern- 
ing the real needs and probable wants of the army, the estab- 
lishment of recognized relations with the medical staffs of 
Federal and State troops; aiding the ISTew York Medical 
Association to sustain a depot for supplies. 

States, cities, towns, counties, banks, poured out their 
money to equip the troops and keep their families. The 
Common Council of Rochester voted one hundred and twenty 
thousand dollars for the relief of families; Oswego, ten thou- 
sand; Troy the same; Norwich, fourteen thousand; Cam- 
bridge, five thousand; Brooklyn, fifty thousand. At Xenia, 
Ohio, fourteen thousand dollars were subscribed in a few 
hours, and six thousand in Chicago. Three weeks after the 
call for men the money so gathered amounted to more than 
twenty-seven million dollars. 

Long ere this troops were on their way to Washington. On 
the night of the sixteenth of April the Einggold Artillery 
of Reading entered Harrisburg, f whither they were quickly 
followed by the National Light Infantry of Pottsville, the 
Washington Artillery of Pottsville, the Allen Infantry of 
Allentown and the Logan Guards of Lewiston. After a de- 
lay of two days these five companies left Harrisburg, passed 
through Philadelphia and Baltimore and at ten o'clock at 
night reached Washington. $ They were the first troops 
to arrive. So quickly had they come that no preparations to 
receive them had been made. They were therefore quartered 
in the House of Representatives, and on the morrow were 

* Kew York Herald, April 27, 1861. 
t Philadelphia Press, April 17, 1861. 
$ Philadelphia Press, April 17, 18, 186L 


visited' and congratulated by the Secretary of War.* "While 
the Pennsylvania troops were on their way, two Ohio regi- 
ments were hurrying to Pittsburgh f and the Sixth Massachu- 
setts reached Philadelphia, was received with cheers for Bos- 
ton, the Old Bay State, and for Bunker Hill ; was escorted 
by an immense crowd to the Continental Hotel, where a sup- 
per awaited them, and lodged that night in the Girard House. 

Early the next morning they set off for Baltimore. With 
them went ten companies, parts of two regiments composing 
the Washington Brigade of Philadelphia, commanded by 
General Small. They formed no part of the organized 
militia of the Commonwealth. $ The officers were not com- 
missioned. But this mattered not, and late on the night of 
April eighteenth ten companies assembled at the depot in 
order that, unarmed and ununiformed as they were, they 
might be under the protection of the Sixth Massachusetts 
should trouble arise along the route. 

In those days travelers from Philadelphia to Washington] 
went by train to Perryville on the eastern bank of the Sus- 
quehanna, boarded the large steamboat Maryland, were car- 
ried across the river to Havre-de-Grace, and went thence by 
rail to the President Street depot in Baltimore. There the 
locomotive was detached and the cars drawn by horses through 
the city to the Camden Street depot of the Baltimore and 
Ohio Eailroad. 

Though it was three o'clock in the morning of April nine- 
teenth when the Massachusetts and Pennsylvania troops left 
Philadelphia, it was nearly noon when the train reached 
Baltimore. As the ears were detached horses were hitched to 
them and the journey to Camden Street began. 'Nine loaded 
with the men of the Sixth Massachusetts went through with 
but little opposition. As the tenth was seen coming over 
the Pratt Street bridge stones were piled on the track, a load 
of sand was dumped on it, an anchor from a wharf near by 

* Philadelphia Press, April 17, 18, 1861. 

t Official Records, Union and Confederate Armies, Series 3, vol. i, 
p. 84. Philadelphia Press, April 20, 1861. 
$ Message of Governor Curtin, April 30, 1861. 
Small's Report, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 23, 


was dragged across it, and the troops defied to come out. 
They were taken back to President Street depot where a 
great crowd had gathered. ISTo choice was now left. They 
must go on foot to Camden Street. After a consultation Cap- 
tain Follansbee was put in command and the march began. 
The crowd at once closed in on the soldiers, throwing stones 
and missiles. At Gay Street the mob in waiting greeted the 
troops with a shower of cobblestones. Several men fell, and 
when the excited crowd had passed over them crawled into 
stores on Pratt Street. At South Street some one in the 
mob fired a pistol into the ranks whereupon the men in the 
rear turned and fired, killing and wounding several citizens. 
At Calvert Street the troops fired again, checking their pur- 
suers and bringing down several. When the head of Light 
Street wharf was reached a body of police came up, deployed 
in line across the street, opened to allow the troops to pass 
through, closed, and faced the mob with drawn revolvers. 
The line held firm, the mob was checked, the troops pushed 
on, and despite a volley of stones at Howard Street, reached 
the depot and boarded the cars.* 

At the President Street depot, meanwhile, the unarmed, 
ununif ormed Pennsylvania troops had been mobbed, driven 
from their cars and scattered, and the police not knowing 
what to do with them they were sent back to Philadelphia. 
Three had been killed, more than a score wounded, and two 
hundred were missing. They had mingled with the mob and 
gradually made their way home as best they could, f Of 
the Massachusetts men four were killed, thirty-nine wounded, 
and one hundred and thirty were not to be found. $ 

A rumor that more troops were coming so alarmed the 
Mayor that he extorted from the Governor a reluctant con- 
sent that the railroad bridges might be destroyed, and ere 
morning came three were in flames and all communication 

* Brown, Baltimore, and the 19th of April, 1861. Johns Hopkins 
University Studies in History and Political Science. Extra Volume 
No. 3. 

t Report of Small, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 23, 1861. 

$ Official Records, Series 1, vol. ii, p. 709. Brown, Baltimore, and 
the 19th of April, 1861. Johns Hopkins University Studies in History 
and Political Science, Extra Volume No. 3. 


with Havre-de-Grace was severed.* On the night after the 
riot three citizens of Baltimore were sent to Washington 
bearing a letter to Lincoln from the Mayor and the Governor. 
The people, he was assured, were exasperated to the highest 
degree by the passage of the troops. That no more should 
come was the universal opinion, and it was the Mayor's 
'solemn duty to say that if they did come they must fight 
their way at every step. JSTone would be sent, Lincoln assured 
the bearers of the letter, if, from a military point of view, 
they could be marched around the city. On Sunday the 
city was again thrown into intense excitement by the report 
that five thousand ISTorthern troops were at Cockeysville, near 
which a bridge on the Northern Central Railroad had been 
burned. They had come from Harrisburg, and unable to 
go on had camped on the heights to await orders. The Mayoi* 
that Sunday was in Washington, and hearing of the arrival 
of the troops hurried to Lincoln to protest, was assured they 
were brought through Maryland for no hostile purpose, and 
was promised that they should not go through the city if thd 
other routes to Washington were left open. They were soon 
ordered back to Harrisburg. Half were without arms and 
uniforms. Expecting to go through by rail none brought food 
enough to tide them over the unlooked for delay, and would 
have suffered much had not the Marshal of Police sent wagon 
loads of food from Baltimore to the camp, f 

But what, meantime, was happening in Washington? 
That it should be captured was the earnest wish of Southern, 
leaders and the Southern press. On the day the news of the 
bombardment of Sumter reached Montgomery, the Secretary 
of War said in a speech : no man can tell where the war this 
day begun will end, but I will prophesy that the flag which 
now flaunts the breeze here will float over the dome of the 
old Capitol at Washington before the first of May. Let them 
try Southern chivalry and test the extent of Southern re- 
sources, and it may float eventually over Faneuil Hall itself. $ 

* Baltimore Sun, April 20, 1861. Official Records, Series 1, vol. ii, 
pp. 13-15. 

t Brown, Baltimore, and tne 19th of April, 1861, pp. 75, 76. 
f National Intelligencer, May 9, 1861. 


The day Sumter was surrendered the Eicbnond Enquirer 
aroioiiiLeed that nothing was more provable than that Presi- 
dent Davis would march an army through North Carolina 
and Virginia to Washington.* The first fruits of the seces- 
sion of Virginia will be the removal of Lincoln and Ms 
Cabinet, and whatever he can carry away ? to the safer neigh- 
borhood of Harrisburg or Cincinnati, perhaps Buffalo, f 
Washington is to be the seat of war. Washington is the 
great prize in dispute, and if Southerners will instantly rush 
upon it, the war will soon be ended. $ The capture of 
Washington City is within the power of Virginia and Mary- 
land if they win only make the effort, nor is there a moment 
to lose. The whole population pants for the onset. I^ever 
before was there half the unanimity among the people, nor 
a tithe of the zeal upon any subject, that is now shown to 
take Washington and drive from it every Black Eepublican 
who dwells therein. The filthy cage of "unclean birds must 
and will be purified by fire. The people clamor for Washing- 
ton and for a leader to conduct them there. The editor of 
the Charleston Mercury did not think the city worth taking. 
If it were offered for nothing, on condition that the Con- 
federate States make it their Capital, it should be refused. 
The ISTew Eepublic should have a new Capital in the heart of 
the Confederacy. "Let Washington remain, with its magnifi- 
cent buildings crumbling into ruin, a striking monument to 
future ages of the folly and wickedness of the people of the 
Worth." [( When the call fox troops was made Washington 
depended for protection on a few regulars and the district 
militia. A company of United States Cavalry were quartered 
just west of the War Department in "Fort Lawson" once 
the old home of William Wirt, then the property of Surgeon- 
General Lawson, and used as headquarters for the new mili- 
tary Department. A company of Dragoons was housed in 
Burch's stables opposite Williards Hotel More Dragoons 

* Richmond Enquirer, April 13, 1861. 
f Vicksbufg Whig, April 20, 1861. 
t Richmond Examiner, April 20, 1861. 
Richmond Enquirer, April 23, 1861. 
|| National Intelligencer, April 29, 1861. 


and tlie West Point Battery in a private House on E Street 
near tlie City Hall; Magruder's Battery, a company of In- 
fantry, and a Company of Ordnance were at the Arsenal ; a 
"battalion of Marines at tlie DSTavy Yard, and a Company of 
Artillery at Fort Washington just below Alexandria. The 
district militia was made up of some seventeen companies 
hearing such names as Henderson Guards, Turner Rifles, 
Metropolitan Eifles, Constitutional Guards, Union Regiment, 
and numbering from sixty to two hundred and fifty men 
each. There were also ununiformed companies of workmen! 
at the Navy Yard and on the Capitol extension. * 

By Wednesday, the seventeenth of April, excitement in the 
city rose to fever heat. Residents and strangers crowded the 
hotels, stood in groups about the bulletin boards, and walked 
up and down the streets asking and telling the news. 'Now-, 
it was a rumor that an ordinance of secession had been passed 
at the dead of night by the Virginia Convention in secret 
session; now that seizures had been made, and obstructions 
placed in the harbor of IsTorf oik ; now, Harpers Ferry had 
been burned; now it was the likelihood of the march of an 
army of Virginians to the heights about Alexandria and the 
bombardment of the city. On the morrow the rumor that 
Norfolk had been taken was declared to be true, and that the 
Arsenal at Harpers Ferry had been burned was declared to 
be false. As no Virginia troops were seen across the river 
the cars, it was said, had all been sent from Alexandria to 
Richmond to bring the Virginians to the Capital. That Vir- 
ginia had seceded was soon confirmed and the excitement and 
alarm rose higher than before. More patrols were sent to the 
Long Bridge; Federal troops at important points were 
strengthened, volunteers hastened to enlist, and hour after 
hour new companies marched to the War Department to be 
inspected and sworn into service. That evening Cassius M. 
Clay organized the strangers staying at Williards, Brown's 
and the National Hotel, called them the Strangers 7 Guard, 
and began to patrol the streets after nightfall, f Men from 

* Philadelphia Inquirer, April 20, 1861. 
f Philadelphia Press, April 20, 1861. 


Kansas organized by Senator Lane as the Frontier Guard, 
were given quarters for a time in the East Room of the White 
Honse. Later that evening the five companies of Pennsyl- 
vania troops arrived. As no preparations had been made for 
them they were quartered in the Capitol. 

Friday, the nineteenth, was another day of excitement and 
dread. Little business was done, for more rumors of the 
destruction of the Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, the reported 
seizure of important places by the Virginians , the news of 
the Baltimore riot and the arrival of the Massachusetts 
Sixth kept the people on the streets till long after mid- 
night. Lincoln now replied to the proclamation of Davis, 
laid a blockade on the ports of the seven Confederate States, 
and gave warning that if any person, under the pretended 
authority of those states, should molest a vessel of the 
United States, or the crew, or the passengers, or the cargo 
on board of her, such person should be held answerable to 
the laws of the United States for the prevention and punish- 
ment of piracy.* 

With the coming of the five companies of Pennsylvania 
troops, the Massachusetts Sixth, and the news of the Balti- 
more riot, the Capitol took on the appearance of a forL 
About the entrances, and between the piers and great pillars, 
were barricades of iron plates intended for the dome, and 
behind the plates, barrels of cement piled endways, and heaps 
of stone, timber and sand. All the statuary in the corri- 
dors and the old rotunda were boxed, and the pictures in 
the panels were covered over with heavy planks, for all day 
long the halls and corridors were full of soldiers drilling. 
The Sixth Massachusetts was lodged In, the Senate Cham- 
ber, and the Pennsylvania troops in various offices and com- 
mittee rooms, for the Hall of Representatives was to be 
assigned to the Seventh, [New York, known to be on its way 
to Washington. On the richly carpeted floor were piles of 
hastily gathered commissary stores. From the bronze orna- 
ments, the gallery chandeliers and the gilt brackets that 
held back the silk and lace curtains hung knapsacks, belts, 

* Proclamation of April 19, 1861. 


cartridge boxes and bayonet scabbards, and here and there 
on the damask sofas lay stretched a sleeping soldier.* 

On Saturday the twentieth, Eobert E. Lee resigned and 
the air was full of rumors concerning the troops from "New 
Tort. They were fighting in Baltimore, they were at An- 
napolis, at Trenton, at Harrisburg, anywhere save in Wash- 
ington. By Sunday the people began to realize that they 
were cut off from the North; that the wires were down, the 
mails stopped, no trains running, and the city in danger of a 
famine. All routes of approach, it was believed, were in the 
hands of the Confederates, Annapolis captured and batteries 
erected on the Potomac below Alexandria. That night a 
vessel laden with flour was seized at Georgetown and the 
supply thus obtained was sold to the citizens. 

Monday brought scores of resignations from Department 
clerks, and officers of high rank in the Army and Navy, 
among them Franklin Buchanan, Commandant at the ISTavy 
Yard, and John Bankhead Magruder of the artillery. Bad 
as all this was Scott reported that he was sure, with the 
force at hand, he could defend the Capitol, the Arsenal, 
and the seven Department buildings against ten thousand 
troops no better than the District militia. 

When Tuesday came gloom had settled over the city. 
Where can the troops be, was asked on every hand. They 
were coming. Four days after the call the New York Seventh 
marched down Broadway lined for two miles with a shouting, 
cheering crowd, took cars at Jersey City, and late that evening 
reached Philadelphia. There they were joined by the Eighth 
Massachusetts, Benjamin I\ Butler in command. Both, on 
the following day, went on to Annapolis, The Seventh by 
steamer from Philadelphia, the Eighth by the steamboat 
Maryland from Perryville. 

Against their landing in Maryland, Governor Hicks pro- 
tested to Butler, and asked Lincoln that no more troops be 
sent across Maryland; that those off Annapolis be ordered 
away; that a truce be declared, and that Lord Lyons, the 

* Correspondent, New York Times, Philadelphia Ledger, April 25, 


British Minister, be invited to act as mediator.* In this 
moment of terror some citizens of Washington went to the 
Prussian Minister, Baron de Gerolt, and asked that the 
diplomatic body offer mediation to prevent bloodshed, and 
to obtain an armistice until Congress met in July. When 
consulted, the British Minister replied that while the object 
was excellent, there was one fatal objection to the plan, and 
this was that neither party would accept mediation. The 
French Minister was of the same mind and nothing was 
done, f Lord Lyons was quite right, for the next day Seward 
in a letter to the Governor rejected the "arbitrament of any 
European Monarchy." $ The troops were put ashore on the 
ISTaval Academy grounds over which Maryland had no juris- 

On Wednesday a Cabinet meeting was held, and while 
the Secretaries were still gathered around the long table, a 
messenger brought word that two vessels Lad arrived off the 
ISTavy Yard. Could it be that they brought the long- 
expected troops from "New York ? Unhappily they did not. 
They were the Paivnee and Keystone State with news that 
the ships at the Gosport Navy Yard had been scuttled and! 
buildings burned and that the Yard was in the hands of the 
Virginia militia. 

Some New York newspapers, three days old, filled with 
glowing accounts of the volunteering, enlisting, flag raising, 
of the great uprising of the whole IsTorth in response to the 
call for troops, now reached Washington. But where were 
the men ? Little wonder that Lincoln, as from the window 
of the Executive office he looked that afternoon down the 
Potomac, was heard to exclaim: "Why don't they come! 
Why don't they come !" |] Little wonder, when the wounded 
men of the Sixth Massachusetts visited him on the twenty- 
fourth he said to them: "I begin to believe there is no 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. ii, pp. 586, 589. 
t Lord Lyons to Russell, April 27, 1861, C. F. Adams, Massachusetts 
Historical Society, Proceedings, vol. xlviii, p. 227. 
$ Official Records, Series 1, vol. ii, pp. 586, 589. 
Ibid., Navy, Series 1, vol. iv, pp. 289-291. 
)| Meolay and Hay, Abraham Lincoln, vol. iv, p, 152* 


North.. The Seventh Regiment is a myth. Rhode Island 
is another. You are the only real thing." * 

Most happily the Seventh was not a myth. At the very 
moment when the President was uttering his lament it was 
marching towards the Capital. After landing at Annapolis 
the troops expected to push on at once to Washington. But 
the track had been torn up in many places between Annapolis 
and the Junction. All the rolling stock save two rickety 
passenger cars, two cattle cars and a disabled locomotive had 
been sent to Baltimore, and it was believed that a strong 
force would come against them from that city. A call for 
menf who knew how to mend the locomotive brought 
machinists from the ranks of the Eighth Massachusetts ; the 
engine was mended, and the Seventh, relaying tracks and 
rebuilding burned bridges as it went, made its way to the 
Junction, where a train which had come down under guard 
from Washington was waiting, reached the Capital and! 
marched along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. 
That night it was quartered in the House of Representatives. 
The Eighth Massachusetts came on the following day and 
before the first of May the troops quartered in the Capitol, 
the Treasury building, the Patent Office, the Assembly Room, 
Inauguration Hall, in private houses and elsewhere numbered 
ten thousand. 

Over all the South the riot in Baltimore and the secession 
of Virginia gave new occasions for bell ringing, cannonad- 
ing, rejoicing, and for renewed demands that Washington 
be taken. With independent Virginia on one side, and the 
secessionists of Maryland on the other, the policy of the 
South was to seize the old Federal Capital and make "old 
Lincoln and his Cabinet prisoners of war." $ The Govern- 
ment of the Confederate States must have the City of Wash- 
ington. On the evening after the arrival of the news of 

* Mcolay and Hay, Abraham Lincoln, vol. iv, p. 153. 

t "Who knows how to make an engine?" asked General Butler. Six 
machinists stepped from the ranks. But one claimed the right to make 
repairs. "I made the engine," said he, pointing to his private mark. 
New York Herald, April 28, 1861*- 

$ Eufaula, Alabama Express, April 25, 1861. 

Milledgeville Southern Recorder, April 30, 1861. 


the Baltimore riot, a huge bonfire was lighted in front of the 
Exchange Hotel in Montgomery. Cheers were given for 
the loyal people of Baltimore, and Koger A. Pryor called 
out to speak. When he said he was in favor of marching 
immediately on Washington the crowd cheered him lustily. 
Before the departure of the Second South Carolina Eegiment 
from Charleston for Kichmond, a fine stand of colors was 
presented with much ceremony. "To your particular charge," 
said Colonel Kershaw, handing the colors to Sergeant 
Gordon, "is committed this noble gift. Plant it wherever 
honor calls. If opportunity offers let it be the first to kiss 
the breeze of heaven from the dome of the Capitol at Wash- 
ington." * 

Late in April, Stephens told a crowd gathered to greet 
him in Atlanta that Lincoln had fifteen thousand men in 
and about Washington. They were quartered in the Capitol 
and were defacing its walls and ornaments "with grease and 
filth like a set of vandal hordes." The new Senate Chamber 
had been "converted into a kitchen and quarters," and "cook- 
ing and sleeping apartments had actually been erected and 
placed in that elegant apartment." The Patent Office had 
become a soldiers' barracks and was ruined with their filth. 
"The Post-Office is made a storehouse for barrels of flour 
and bacon. All the Departments are appropriated to base 
uses, and despoiled of their beauty by those treacherous, de- 
structive enemies of our country. Their filthy spoliations 
of the public buildings and works of art at the Capital, and 
their preparation to destroy them are strong evidences to my 
mind that they do not intend to hold or defend the place, 
but to abandon it after having despoiled and laid it in ruins. 
Let them destroy it, savage like, if they will. We will re- 
build it. We will make the structure more glorious." f 

A traveler through the Southern States declared that 
wherever he went the people were wild with excitement, the 
trains full of soldiers, arms and ammunition, and the belief 
prevailed that Washington would be taken and Lincoln 

* National Intelligencer, May 7, 1861. 
t Philadelphia Press, May 9, 1861. 


killed; that tlie North, wished to subjugate the South, and 
that Yankee soldiers were cowards. Pieces of the Sumter 
flagstaff were carried about as curiosities. At Richmond 
he found all business suspended, and the rumor current that, 
although the ordinance of secession would not be submitted 
to the people till May, the authorities would act as if Virginia 
were already out of the Union.* 

On the day the bombardment of Sumter began Davis 
summoned the Confederate Congress to meet in special 
session at Montgomery, f Before it adjourned a state of 
war was recognized as existing between the United States 
and the Confederate States, the issue of letters of marque 
and reprisal was authorized, $ Davis was empowered to ac- 
cept an unlimited number of volunteers to serve for the war, 
and a loan of fifty million dollars was ordered to be raised 
by the sale of bonds for specie, military stores or the pro- 
ceeds of sales of raw produce or manufactured goods. All 
persons were forbidden to pay debts due to individuals or 
corporations in the Northern States save Delaware, Mary- 
land, Kentucky, the District of Columbia and Missouri, and 
urged to turn the money into the Confederate treasury in 
exchange for a certificate redeemable after peace. |] The ex- 
port of cotton, save through the seaports was prohibited, f 
.Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas and Tennessee were 
admitted into the Confederacy, and an invitation of the 
Virginia Convention to make Eichmond the Capital having 
been accepted, the Congress adjourned to meet in that city 
on the twentieth of July. 

*New York Tribune, April 20, 1861. 

f Official Records, Series 4, vol. i, p. 219. April 12, 1861. 
Statutes at Large, Provisional Government, Confederate States of 
America, 1861, May 8, p. 100. 
Ibid., May 16, p. 117. 
|| Ibid., May 21, p. 151. 
1f Ibid., May 21, p. 152. 




for a moment doubting that Virginia was already 
out of the Union her Governor at once proceeded to prepare 
for her defense. He signed a covenant with the Confederate 
States which gave to Davis control of the Army of Virginia 
and of all military operations on her soil in the coming 
conflict with the United States. He asked Tennessee how 
far Virginia might rely on her for aid in repelling the in- 
vasion of their common rights. He made public an ordinance 
of the Convention bidding him call into service as many 
volunteers as necessary to repel invasion and invited all sons 
of Virginia then in the Army and Tavy of the United States 
to resign. He ordered all volunteer companies in counties 
east of Richmond, between Richmond and the Blue Ridge, 
and in the Valley of Virginia to establish gathering places 
on lines of speedy communication and be ready to move at 
a moment's notice. Robert E. Lee was made Commander- 
in-Chief of the Army and ISTavy of Virginia. Colonel 
Thomas Jonathan Jackson was made commander of the 
troops at Harpers Ferry and Joseph Eggleston Johnston of 
those gathering in Richmond,* and Lee authorized to call for 
as many volunteers as the needs of the hour might require and 
name the places where they should gather. 

Western Virginia was then aflame. Cut off by the Alle- 
gheny Mountains from the piedmont and tidewater regions, 
having no direct communication over the mountains with 
eastern Virginia, living as small farmers, owning few slaves, 
shipping their products down the Ohio or into Maryland, 
the people of the northwest counties were neither geograph- 
ically nor economically a part of the Old Dominion. They 

* Official Eecords, Series 1, vol. ii, pp. 773, 774, 775, 777, 781, 783, 


were far more closely allied to the ISTorth than to Virginia. 
No sooner, therefore, did their delegates to the Virginia 
Convention return and report that the Commonwealth would 
surely leave the Union, than the loyal men took steps to pre- 
vent their section from going with it. They met in county 
mass meetings and resolved that secession was unwise and 
inexpedient ; that if it were the only remedy which the eastern 
counties could find for their wrongs then was the day near 
when the western counties would sever the civil and political 
ties which bound the two sections and remain under the 
Stars and Stripes. They repudiated the Virginia Conven- 
tion because it had adopted an Ordinance of Secession, put 
the Commonwealth in hostility to the Federal Government, 
seized its ships, wrested from it the customhouses at Norfolk 
and Richmond and, by capturing Harpers Ferry, had begun 
war without consulting the people. They held, at Wheeling, 
conventions which declared all acts of the Virginia Con- 
vention which tended to separate the Commonwealth from 
the United States to be without authority and void and the 
offices of all who adhered to the Convention whether legisla- 
tive, executive or judicial, vacant; elected Francis H. 
Peirpoint Governor of Virginia, prescribed a test oath to be 
tendered to all officers serving under the old Government and 
bade the Governor nil all offices made vacant by refusal to 
take the oath. Claiming to be the true and loyal Governor 
of Virginia, Peirpoint summoned the old Legislature to 
assemble at Wheeling. Such members as came, claiming in 
their turn to be the true and loyal Legislature of Virginia, 
elected two Senators to fill the vacancies made by the with- 
drawal of James M. Mason and Eobert JVL T. Hunter. 
When Congress met in July they were allowed to take the 
oath and became Senators from Virginia. 

Having in this way provided Virginia with a loyal Govern- 
ment the Union men went on and prepared to secede from 
it, framed and adopted a Constitution for West Virginia, 
obtained from the body claiming to be the true and loyal 
Legislature of Virginia its consent to the partition of the 
territory and applied to Congress for admission into the 
Union as a new State. But no provision was made for the 



abolition of slavery or even for gradual emancipation. Con- 
gress, therefore, when it passed the act of admission into 
the Union imposed as a condition that a section forbidding 
slaves to be brought into the State, or free negroes to enter 
it for permanent residence, be stricken out, and that in lien 
of it be inserted a provision for gradual emancipation after 
the fourth day of July, 1863. * 

On receiving the act, Lincoln wrote to each member of his 
Cabinet and asked for an opinion, in writing, on two ques- 
tions, "Is the said act constitutional? Is the said act ex- 
pedient ?" Seward, Stanton and Chase answered yes to both. 
Bates, Blair and Welles answered no to each. There was 
then no Secretary of the Interior, for Caleb B. Smith had 
gone to the bench in Indiana and no successor had as yet 
been appointed. Left to himself to decide, Lincoln in a 
long paper gave his reasons for believing the act was con- 
stitutional and expedient f and signed the bill. $ Thus 
amended, the Constitution was ratified by the Convention in 
February, 1863, and by the people at the polls in May and 
by proclamation of Lincoln, West Virginia entered the iFnion 
in June. 

West of Virginia lay the border slave State of Kentucky, 
torn and distracted like her neighbor by love for the Union 
and sympathy for the South. The Governor, many of the 
political leaders and most of the State militia were active, 
ardent secessionists. But the great body of the people was 
disposed to take no part in the coming struggle. 'No State, 
it was held, had a right to leave the Union; neither had the 

* "The eMldren of slaves born witMn the limits of tMs State after 
the fourth day of July, 1863, shall be free; and all slaves within the 
said State who shall at the time aforesaid, be under the age of ten 
years shall be free when they arrive at the age of twenty-one years; 
and all slaves over ten and under twenty-one years shall be free when 
they arrive at the age of twenty-five years; and no slaves shall be 
permitted to come into the State for permanent residence therein." 
Thorpe, American Charters, Constitutions and Organic Laws, vol. vii, 
pp. 4031-4032. 

t Letters and State Papers of Lincoln, vol. ii, p. 283. 

$ December 31, 1862. 

fJune 20, 1863. Messages and Papers of the Presidents, vol. vi, 
p. 167. 


Federal Government a right to coerce a State which had left 
the Union and force her to return. Such as were out should 
be left unmolested and in time they would come back 
Should the Federal Government take up arms to bring them 
back Kentucky should have neither part nor lot in the contest. 
When, therefore, Lincoln made his call for troops and 
Governor Magoffin sent back his defiant refusal to furnish 
a man, the struggle between those who would drag Kentucky 
into the Confederacy and those who would hold her fast in 
the Union, began in earnest. One meeting in Louisville 
declared Kentucky would not prevent the marching of troops 
across her soil by the Confederacy, but would share its des- 
tiny if war must come. Another unanimously declared for 
neutrality. The Confederate States having begun the war, 
Kentucky had a right to choose her position, which should 
be one of loyalty to the Federal Government until it became 
an aggressor. Secession was no remedy. Kentucky, there- 
fore, must oppose the call of the President for troops to 
coerce the South; oppose the enlistment of men to serve the 
Confederacy; maintain an independent position in the 
Union; declare her soil sacred against the hostile tread of 
either and arm herself according to law.* 

The Union State Central Committee were of the same 
opinion and in an address to the people maintained that 
Kentucky could not comply with the call of the Federal 
Government for troops. To do so would be to outrage her 
solemn convictions of duty and trample on that natural sym- 
pathy with the seceding States which neither their contempt 
for her welfare nor their disloyalty to the Union could ex- 
tinguish. To comply with the appeal of secession leaders in 
her midst would sully her unspotted loyalty, ruin her vital 
interests and quench, in the blood of her sons, the last hope 
of reestablishing the Union. She ought not to comply with 
either call, and, unless smitten by judicial blindness, she 
would not. Her duty was to maintain an independent po- 
sition, taking sides with neither the Federal Government 

* Philadelphia Press, April 20, 1861; New York Herald, April 23, 


in 1862 




nor the seceding States, but with the Union against them 

The Legislature which met in special session approved the 
Governor's refusal to furnish troops, resolved that Kentucky 
should remain neutral, authorized a loan of a million dollars 
to buy arms and munitions, and the organization of Home 
Guards for local defense, and forbade the use of the arms 
against either . the Federal or Confederate Governments 
unless Kentucky was invaded. 

In Tennessee there was a Union party, but by no means 
so large and so active as in Kentucky. That she would 
withhold aid from, the North was certain. That she would 
join the Confederacy and take up arms against the "NoTih 
scarcely admitted of doubt. No sooner, therefore, was the 
call of Lincoln for troops made known than the feeling of 
sympathy for the South broke forth in active opposition to 
the North. The Governor returned his defiant answer and 
followed it with a long letter of explanation. Tennessee 
could regard the coercive policy of the Federal Government 
in no other light than a wanton usurpation of power at war 
with , the genius of republican institutions, and so far as it 
might be successful subversive of civil liberty. He then 
called a special session of the Legislature and when it met 
urged that steps be taken to make Tennessee a State in the 
Confederacy. He would have an ordinance declaring the 
independence of the State, renouncing the authority of the 
United States, and reassuming each and every attribute of 
State sovereignty. He would have this ordinance submitted 
to the people at the polls and when, by its adoption, they 
had declared all connection with the other States severed, 
he would have Tennessee join those with whom she had 
common interest, sympathy and destiny. Finally he would 
have an ordinance for her admission into the Confederacy 
and would have this submitted to the vote of the people, f 
All these requests were taken into consideration by the Leg- 
islature, sitting in secret sessions behind closed doors, and 

* National Intelligencer, April 23, 1861. 
f Nashville Union, April 30, 1861. 


granted. May first, tlie Governor was authorized to enter 
into a military league with, the Confederate States and, when 
approved by both Governments, submit it to popular vote onl 
the eighth of June. No time was lost. The military league 
was arranged and on the sixth of May the Legislature 
adopted a Declaration of Independence and Ordinance of 
Secession. Waiving all expression of opinion on the abstract 
doctrine of secession, said the Legislature, but asserting the 
right of a people to abolish, alter or amend their Government 
as may seem fit, we do declare abrogated and annulled all 
laws and ordinances by which the State of Tennessee became 
a member of the Federal Union.* The Ordinance of Seces- 
sion, the Constitution of the Confederate States of America 
and the Military League were all submitted to popular vote 
and duly approved. 

These preparations in Tennessee for secession and the 
gathering of Union troops at Cairo, Indianapolis and Colum- 
bus brought appeals to the Governor of Kentucky to declare 
her neutral He yielded and warned all States, separate or 
united, especially the Confederate States of America and 
the United States of America, that he solemnly forbade any 
movement of troops upon the soil of Kentucky or the occupa- 
tion of any place therein for any purpose whatever until 
invited or authorized by the Legislative or Executive 

In Missouri the contending parties soon came to blows. 
At the head of the Southern sympathizers and eager to see 
Missouri a State in the Confederacy was Governor Claiborne 
Jackson. At the head of the unconditional Union party and 
determined t^at Missouri should remain steadfast in the 
Union was Francis Preston Blair, Jr. At St. Louis was 
a subtreasury and an arsenal in which was stored some thirty 
thousand stand of arms and much ammunition which the 
Governor and his party longed to seize and turn over to the 
Confederacy. ~No sooner, therefore, had Jackson sent his 
refusal to furnish the four regiments called for by Lincoln 
than he summoned the Legislature to meet in extra session 

* National Intelligencer, May 13, 1861. 

1861 DST MISSOURI. g9 

early In May and dispatched two officers with a letter to 
Jefferson Davis asking for help to capture the arsenal. Davis 
promised to send such guns as would be effective from the 
Mils surrounding the building.* Captain Nathaniel Lyon 
a bold, determined, able officer, was the Commandant at 
the arsenal. He did not propose to wait for a summons to 
surrender, wrote to Governor Tates of Illinois, told him 
of the imminent danger of attack on the arsenal, subtreasury, 
customhouse and post-office, suggested that he obtain au- 
thority to send to St. Louis the six regiments to be furnished 
by Illinois, make a requisition for the arms in the arsenal 
and have them shipped to Springfield.f 

Tates acted at once and obtained authority from Cameron 
to send two or three regiments of Illinois militia to St. Louis ; 
put Lyon in command and bid him muster into the service 
of the United States four regiments of volunteers, arm the 
loyal citizens, protect property, execute the laws and deliver 
ten thousand stand of arms to any agent Tates might send. $ 
The agent soon appeared, and one night, late in April, a 
steamboat made fast to the wharf. All the arms not needed 
for the use of the volunteers were put on board and early 
the next morning were taken to Alton and sent thence to 

Enlistment began as soon as Lyon received his orders and 
four regiments, composed of German citizens and young 
men who, during the presidential campaign, had matched 
in the Wide Awake Clubs, were soon drilling eight hours each 
day. To get men was easy. To get uniforms, blankets, 
shoes and stockings was hard. The colonels of the four regi- 
ments, therefore, appealed to friends in the East. As 
citizens of a State whose Governor was opposed to the 
Government of the United States it was idle, they said, to 
seek aid of him or of the State. They were forced, therefore, 
to ask help from their fellow-citizens of the free States, for^ 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. i, p. 688. 

f Lyon to Governor Yates, April 16, 1861. Official Records, Union 
and Confederate Armies, Series 1, vol. i, p. 667. 

t Official Records, Union and Confederate Armies, Series I vol i 
pp. 669, 670. **.*, 


many of the volunteers were too poor to "buy uniforms, 
blankets and shoes. * 

Tlie time now came to Hold the yearly encampment of 
the State militia. Only one brigade, the First, commanded 
by General Frost, had been organized and this on the eve- 
ning of the sixth of May pitched its tents in LindelFs Grove 
in the outskirts of St. Louis and made what was called Camp- 
Jackson, f Scarcely had it been established when, on the 
night of the eighth, a steamboat arrived loaded with cannon, 
muskets and military stores taken from the Federal arsenal 
at Baton Rouge and sent by President Davis in response to 
Governor Jackson's call for aid. Under cover of the night 
the guns and supplies were hurried to the camp. ^ Well 
aware of all this, and sure that an attack was to be made 
on the arsenal, Lyon determined to capture the militia, and 
on the afternoon of the tenth marched to the grove with his 
regulars and the four regiments of militia, surrounded the 
camp and sent in a written demand for surrender. Frost, 
unable to resist, replied that he never for a moment supposed 
so illegal and unconstitutional a demand would be made by 
an officer of the United States ; that he was unprepared to 
defend the camp and surrendered. 

When it became known in the city that Federal troops were 
on their way to the camp the people hurried thither in 
wagons, buggies, carriages, on horseback, in street cars, on 
foot and occupied the hills which overlooked the grounds. 
As the troops started to go back to the city with their prison- 
ers the crowd closed in, threw stones and greeted them with 
taunts, jeers and abusive language. Some shots, which did 
no harm, were fired at the head of the line ; but the militia 
at the end of the line, thinking they were attacked, opened 
fire and killed and wounded twenty-eight citizens. The 
State put an army of militia in the field and gave the com- 
mand to Sterling Price. Some fighting with successes on 

* Philadelphia Press, May 13, 1861. 
t Ibid., May 13, 1861. 

$ Official Records, Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, vol. ii, 
p. 6. 
Ibid., pp. 6, 7. 



both sides followed; but in the battle of Wilson's Creek the 
Union troops were beaten and Lyon was slain. His place 
was filled by Fremont, than whom it would have been hard 
to find a less competent commander. 

Arkansas left the Union early in May and North Carolina 
followed her before the month ended. Her Governor, in his 
proclamation summoning the Legislature to meet in special 
session, denounced Lincoln's call for troops as an invasion 
of the peaceful homes of the South, a violent subversion of 
the liberties of a free people, a high-handed act of tyrannical 
outrage done, in utter disregard of every sentiment of hu- 
manity and Christian civilization and unparalleled by any 
other recorded in history. Within an hour after assembling 
the Legislature rushed through an act providing for a Con- 
vention whose power should be without limit and whose 
action should be final. When it met the Convention, without 
one dissenting vote, passed an ordinance of secession, and 
having voted down a motion to submit the Constitution of 
the Confederate States to the people, ratified it unani- 

In Maryland the Legislature assembled April twenty- 
seventh at Frederick City, for Annapolis, the usual place of 
meeting, was in possession of the Union forces. Governor 
Hicks in his message narrated the events of the past eight 
days, told the Legislature that on its action hung, in all prob- 
ability, the fate of the State, and strongly urged neutrality. 
The Senate was of much the same mind, and adopted an ad- 
dress to the people setting forth that it would not pass an 
ordinance of secession, but if they so desired, would give them 
an opportunity to express their sentiments on that issue. 
In the House a petition from voters in Prince George County 
praying that an ordinance of secession be passed without 
delay, was answered by the adoption of a report that the 
Legislature had no power so to do. The proposed Thirteenth 
Amendment to the Federal Constitution was ratified and a 
resolution from the Committee on Federal E-elations was 
adopted. The war then waged by the Government of the 

* Journal of tlie North Carolina Convention, 1861, pp. 15, 17. 


United States against the people of tlie Confederate States, 
tlie preamble declared, was unconstitutional in origin, pur- 
pose and conduct, repugnant to civilization, subversive of the 
principles on which the Federation was founded and certain 
to result in the hopeless and bloody overthrow of our insti- 
tutions. Maryland, while recognizing her obligations to the 
Union, sympathized with the South, was for recognition of 
the Confederacy, solemnly protested against the war and 
would take no part in it. Therefore, it was resolved that 
Maryland implore the President, in the name of God and 
humanity, to stop the war, at least until Congress assembled ; 
that Maryland consented to the recognition of the inde- 
pendence of the Confederate States ; that military occupation 
of Maryland was unconstitutional ; that she protested against 
it; that the vindication of her rights she left to time and 
reason, and that a Convention, under existing circumstances, 
was inexpedient.* Three days later the Legislature ad- 
journed to meet again on the fourth of June. 

Under orders from the Secretary of War,f Butler, early 
in May, moved sixteen hundred troops and a battery of light 
artillery to the Belay House, a little village nine miles from 
Baltimore, to protect the railroad and telegraph lines from 
that place to Washington. Scarcely had the camp been 
established when so many rumors reached him of a night 
attack by roughs from Baltimore that his aide-de-camp wrote 
Mayor Brown. A thousand men, he said, some of them 
Knights of the Golden Circle, and each sworn to kill his 
man, were coming, in wagons, on horses, on foot. Would 
not the Mayor guard every road from the city and prevent 
the attack? IsTone came, but the General was alarmed, and 
without authority from Washington, without informing 
General Scott what he was about to do, he led a thousand 
men to Baltimore, marched through the city and took pos- 
session of Federal Hill. $ For his occupation of Baltimore 
Butler was censured by Scott, was removed from his depart- 

* Adopted May 11, 1861. 

f Official Records, Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, vol. ii, 
p. 623. 
$ Butler to General Scott, May 15, ibid., p. 29. 


ment ? was assigned to command at Fortress Monroe and in 
Ms place was put General George Cadwalader. * 

The Ordinance of Secession which put the State of Texas 
out of the Union was quickly followed by a like act in "New 
Mexico. Settlers who had found homes in the Territory 
dwelt in the Rio Grande Valley and in the southern part, 
in the country known as Arizona. They were strongly South- 
ern in feeling, held a convention, f resolved they would not 
recognize the Black Republican Administration at Wash- 
ington, declared Arizona out of the Union and chose a dele- 
gate to the Confederate Congress. 

The secessionists in the Arizona country having thus 
pledged allegiance to the Confederacy, preparations were 
promptly made to drive out the few regular troops which 
held the forts in the Rio Grande Yalley and occupy the 
Territory. A force of some two hundred Texans led by 
Colonel John R. Baylor marched up the Rio Grande, occu- 
pied Fort Bliss, abandoned by the Union forces, and pushing 
on, entered La Mesilla. Major Lynde, stationed at Fort 
Fillmore, a few miles away, marched out, made a feeble 
attack on the town, retreated, abandoned the fort and fled 
northward. Baylor overtook him, and, without firing a 
shot, Lynde surrendered his force of some five hundred 
regular Infantry and Mounted Rifles. Thus put in pos- 
session of Arizona, Baylor issued a proclamation. 

Social and political conditions, he said, being little short 
of general anarchy; the people being literally destitute of 
law, order and protection, he took possession of Arizona in 
the name of the Confederate States of America and of all 
IsTew Mexico south of the thirty-fourth parallel and placed 
it under military government until Congress ordered other- 
wise. $ 

While these things were happening on the Rio Grande, 
Major Henry H. Sibley appeared in Richmond. Sibley was 

* Official Records, Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, vol. ii, 
pp. 28, 30, 32, 636, 640-642. 
f March 16, 1861. 
i August 1, 1861, Official Records, Series 4, vol. i, pp. 20, 21. 


a graduate of "West Point, tad fought the Seminole Indians 
in Florida, had won distinction under Scott in Mexico, had 
served in Kansas In the free soil days, and in Utah against 
the Mormons, and in ISTew Mexico against the Indians ; but- 
resigned in May of 1861 and offered his services to the Con- 
federacy, for he was born in Louisiana. Davis made him a 
Brigadier General and sent him back to Texas to carry out 
a scheme of conquest He was to raise in Texas a brigade 
of mounted men, enter New Mexico, make Mesilla his "base 
of operations, and open negotiations with the Governors of 
the Mexican States of Chihuahua, Sonora and Lower Cali- 
fornia. These States once acquired by purchase or by con- 
quest, and conquest in the condition of Mexico at that time 
seemed easy, Utah and California would join the Confed- 
eracy and because of the acquisition of this vast domain 
recognition would follow. California was greatly desired 
because of her gold, her size and her commanding position on 
the Pacific coast 

In mid-December, Sibley reached Fort Bliss and assumed 
command of some thirty-five hundred men known as the 
Army of ~New Mexico and issued a proclamation. "An army 
under my command," he said, "enters New Mexico to take 
possession in the name of the Confederate States of 

The Confederate Congress now formed the Territory of 
Arizona, gave it metes and bounds, provided a temporary 
Government and pledged protection to slavery. Arizona aa 
thus defined comprised the vast stretch of country between 
the Colorado River, the thirty-fourth parallel, the western 
boundary of Texas to the Rio Grande and the international 
boundary to the Colorado ; all the southern half of the present 
States of Arizona and New Mexico. * Davis appointed 
General Baylor Military Governor. 

The Union forces commanded by Colonel Edward R. S. 
Canby were at Fort Craig, Albuquerque, Sante Fe and Fort 
Union. Towards the end of February Sibley appeared be- 
fore Fort Craig and offered battle. Canby refused to fight 

* Act of January 18, 1862. Ibid., pp. 853-859. 


and Sibley, crossing to the east bank of the Eio Grande, 
moved north towards the crossing at Yalverde, there met and 
defeated Canby's troops In a severe all-day fight * and entered 
Albnquerqne and Sante Fe without opposition. His next 
objective was Fort Union. But a regiment of Colorado 
Volunteers, led by Major John M. Chivington, had come 
by forced marches across the plains from Denver and were 
already in the fort. Determined to drive the enemy from 
Sante Fe, Ohivington set out late in March, met the Con- 
federates in La Grlorleta Pass and beat them. Another fight 
quickly followed. Again the Texans were badly beaten, fell 
back to Sante Fe and Albuquerque, crossed the Eio Grande 
and retreated down the west bank into Texas. ISTew Mexico 
was saved for the Union and the Confederate Territory of 
Arizona came to naught. At Fort Bliss Sibley heard of 
the advance of the column from California and fled to San 

Reports from the Pacific coast during April and May 
made known the existence of a strong secession feeling In 
California. This was not new. In days before the war, 
leading men in the State had attempted to take California 
out of the Union and form a Eepublic of the Pacific, f 2sTow 
that the war was on, this old secession feeling found expres- 
sion in an attempt to make her a member of the Confederacy. 
Disloyal newspapers upheld the scheme, spared no pains to 
justify secession, called the war ruinous and unholy, main- 
tained that the South could not be beaten, rejoiced over every 
Union defeat and roundly abused the President. Disloyal 
men upheld the scheme by public meetings where the names 
of Beauregard and Davis were loudly cheered; by a whis- 
pering campaign carried on in hotels, barrooms, saloons ; by 
seeking to persuade the native population that with Cali- 
fornia out of the Union they would never feel the grinding 
taxes the war was sure to bring; by secretly raising compa- 
nies of armed men. and by aiding the secret work of the 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. ix, pp. 487-493, 506-512. 
t California in the Civil War. J. J, Earle, American Historical 
Association Report, 1907, vol. i, p. 127. 


Knights of the Golden Circle and of the Knights of the 
Columbian Star. * 

General Simmer, commanding the Department of the 
Pacific, reported that the majority of the people of Cali- 
fornia were loyal ; but there existed a secession party, active, 
aggressive, zealous and because of their activity exerting an 
influence out of all proportion to their numbers. He had 
no doubt there was a deep-laid scheme to draw California 
out of the Union, found a Republic of the Pacific and then 
join it to the Conferedacy. f So rampant was this feeling 
in the southern part of the State that he hurried troops to 
Los Angeles. $ A citizen of Santa Barbara wrote Seward 
that the secessionists intended to seize Lower California; 
that once in possession of the peninsula they would cut off 
all communications with Mexico and seize the Panama 
steamers. The native population to a man, he said, was with 
them, and so were most of the French and Spaniards. Lower 
California ought to be held at all costs. An editor assured 
Sumner that a secret organization of secessionists existed in 
all the southern counties and held secret meetings. In a 
settlement near Los Angeles was a fully equipped cavalry 
regiment. It was there the first attack would be made. No- 
tice had been given him to stop publishing Union sentiments. 
He had been expecting a rising and nothing but the presence 
of troops had prevented it. || 

Overawed by the troops sent to Los Angeles, the secession- 
ists turned to Nevada. The field seemed most promising. 
The Governor of the newly organized Territory had not 
arrived. Judicial districts had not been marked out, and no 
territorial officer was at his post of duty. *f There was nobody 
to hinder them from seizing the Territory save the officer 
in command at Fort Churchill. Some two hundred men, 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. i, Part I, pp. 496, 556, 629, 759, 879; 
Part II, pp. 107, 130, 453, 521, 930, 1018. 

t Sumner to Assistant Adjutant General, April 28, 1861. Ibid., p. 

$ Official Records, Series 1, vol. i, Part I, p. 474. 

Ibid., p. 475, May 3, 1861. 

|| Ibid., pp. 496-497. 

H Ibid., pp. 506,507. 


therefore, were easily raised and when organized declared 
for the Confederacy, raised the rebel flag in Virginia City 
and defied the Union men to pull it down.* "Cannot some- 
thing be done for -as? 5 ' said a citizen. "We are eleven- 
twelfths Union men, but have no arms, while the secessionists 
have control of all arms, public and private. My heart aches 
to see the vile secession flag floating in our midst and we not 
able to pull it down." f 

Congress, in July, having authorized the use of volunteers 
to aid in enforcing the laws and protecting public property, i 
a call for one regiment of cavalry and four of infantry was 
made on the Governor of California in August. Under com- 
mand of General Sumner they were to sail from San Fran- 
cisco to Mazatlan, march thence to western Texas, recover 
the lost public property, and by their activity draw Con- 
federate forces from Arkansas and Missouri. Another 
expedition, composed of regular horse and foot, under Colonel 
Carleton, was to cross the mountains and protect the Over- 
land Mail Eoute from Indian depredations. More than 
fifty firms in San Francisco protested and appealed to 
Cameron. It was reported, they said, that five thousand 
troops were to be raised and sent to Texas under Sumner. 
Against this they protested because the majority of State 
officers were undisguised and avowed secessionists, and the 
rest bitterly hostile to the Administration, and urging peace. 
Every appointment made by the Governor during the last 
three months showed his sympathy with those plotting to 
sever California from the Union. Three-eighths of her 
citizens were natives of slave-holding States; sixteen thou- 
sand Knights of the Golden Circle were organized in the 
State. Native Spaniards were being assured that all their 
real estate troubles would be settled under the Confederacy. 
Squatters and lawless trespassers who for years past had been 
contending with landed proprietors were assured a change 
of allegiance could do them no harm. In the face of these 

* Official Records, Scries 1, vol. i, Part I, pp. 499, 500. 

f Ibid., p. 499, June 5, 1861. 

t Act of July 22, 1861. 

f Official Record^ Series 1, vol. i, Part I, p. 572, August 16, 1861, 


conditions to deprive loyal men of military support was 
simply to encourage traitors.* The County Judge., title 
District Attorney, the County Clerk and the Sheriff of Santa 
Barbara County assured the commanding officer at Los 
Angeles that the country was in great danger. Native Cali- 
fornians and Mexicans, who never were loyal to the United 
States, made the bulk of the population. A serious collision 
between them and loyal Americans would surely happen 
unless troops were sent to Santa Barbara. f Members of 
the Union Club at San Bernardino reported that a company 
of cavalry under the name of Home Guard had been organ- 
ized by Mormons, sworn enemies of the United States. They 
pretended to be loyal, but beyond doubt were disloyal. The 
Club feared that hostilities would soon break out between 
them and the United States, and asked that no arms be 
given them. $ 

Moved by warnings and appeals such as these Sumner did 
not send Carleton to the plains, but to Los Angeles. He 
assumed the responsibility of changing the destination of 
the expedition, he said, because disloyalty was increasing and 
growing dangerous in southern California, because it was 
absolutely necessary to send troops there at once. The rebels 
were organizing, gathering supplies, preparing to receive a 
force from Texas, and had corrupted the native Californians 
by telling them they would be ruined by taxes to maintain 
the war. The Adjutant General had already revoked the 
order to send Sumner into Texas. The regulars on the 
Pacific Coast were needed in the East and Sumner was 
ordered to bring them to ISTew York. |] 

Command of the Department of the Pacific then passed 
to Colonel George Wright, who was ordered by McClellan 
to send Carleton with one or two regiments of California 
volunteers to protect the Overland Mail Route, f But 

* Official Records, Series I, 1 vol. i, Part I, pp. 589-591. 
t Ibid., p. 664. 
$ Ibid., p. 622. 

Ibid., pp. 641-642. To the Assistant Adjutant General, September 
17, 1861. 

|1 Ibid., pp. 616, 620, 621. 
KlbicL, pp. 720, 730, 735. 



Wright found a better way of quieting the Indians than "by 
overawing them with troops. To send troops and supply 
trains across the mountains at that time of year would be 
impossible because of snow. The Indians were starving. A 
reasonable distribution of food would keep them quiet. He 
arranged, therefore, with the Governor of Nevada as Indian 
Agent and with the agent of the Overland Mail Company, 
for the distribution of food,* and asked that Oarleton be sent 
to open the Great Southern Mail Route and retake Forts 
Buchanan, Thorn, Fillmore and Bliss, and be sent as soon| 
as possible. Why act on the defensive, he asked, when we 
have the power and the will to drive every rebel beyond the 
Rio Grande ?f 

McClellan approved $ and the troops were gathered as 
quickly as possible at Fort Tuma on the Colorado River. 
But three months and more passed before they were able to 
move. Not for years had there been such a winter. Bain 
was incessant. The whole country was flooded. Horses and 
cattle were mired on the open plains and lost. Unprece- 
dented rains and storms for six weeks past, Wright reported, 
had so saturated and submerged the whole country that it 
was impossible to move. Suffering in the interior of the 
State was beyond all calculation. Many lives had been lost 
Sacramento was under water, the legislature had been forced 
to adjourn, towns and villages had been swept away, a vast 
amount of property ruined, and the people, compelled to fly 
for their lives, had found refuge in San Prancisco and were 
supported by charity. Fort Yuma, Carleton reported, was 
an island. During three hours, on one day, the river rose 
six feet, overflowing its banks and carrying all before it. 
Colorado City was washed away. [1 Not until the middle 
of April did the advance guard of the little army known 
officially as "The Column from California" set off from 

* Official Kecords, Series 1, vol. i, Part I, pp. 735, 745, 746, 749, 751. 

flbid., p. 753, December 9, 1861. 

$ Ibid., pp. 752, 753. 

Wright to Adjutant General, January 18, 1862, ibid., pp. 812-813. 

I Ibid., pp. 815-816. 


Fort Yuma and May was nearly gone wlien it entered 
Tucson. Carleton with the rest of the column arrived in 
June and issued a proclamation. Arizona, he said, was all 
the country east of the Colorado then held by the column 
from California and as the flag was carried eastward the limit 
of Arizona would go with it. The Territory was in a state 
of chaos. There was no civil authority, no security for life 
or property. As Military Governor, therefore, he assumed 
control until the President ordered otherwise.* In Sep- 
tember he was able to report that Fort Thorn, Mesilla, Fort 
Fillmore and Fort Bliss were again in Union hands, that 
the Great Southern Overland Mail Route was reopened and 
the flag raised over Fort Bliss, Fort Quitman and Fort Davis 
in western Texas, and over Forts Breckinridge and Buchanam 
in New Mexico. 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. i, Part I, p. 96. 




THE time liad now come for the people of Virginia to go 
through, the form of voting for or against the Ordinance of 
Secession submitted to them in April. The name of eacK 
voter was to he taken down. Many who would have voted 
against separation, fearing vengeance might be wreaked on 
them, kept away from the polls. Others, considering Vir- 
ginia already out of the "Union, and well aware that the 
Confederate Congress would soon meet in Richmond, east no 
votes. ISFo returns came from several counties. From such 
as did come, it appeared that less than one hundred and 
twenty-six thousand wished Virginia to join the Confed- 
eracy and less than twenty-one thousand would have her 
remain in the Union. 

The votes were cast on the twenty-third of May. Before 
dawn on the twenty-fourth the Union troops crossed the Poto- 
mac and occupied Arlington Heights and Alexandria. Some 
went by the Aqueduct Bridge, some by Long Bridge. Colonel 
Ellsworth and his Zouaves were carried in two steamboats to 
Alexandria and landed under the guns of the Pawnee. No 
resistance was made. The town was occupied and Ellsworth 
with a few of his men set off to seize the telegraph office. As 
they drew near to the Marshall House Ellsworth beheld a 
Confederate flag flying from a pole on the roof. Determined 
to pull it down with his own hands he entered the hotel with 
two companions, cut the halyards, wound the flag about his 
body and began his descent. When a few steps above the 
second floor landing a door was suddenly opened and the 
proprietor, leveling a double-barreled gun at Ellsworth, shot 
him through the body. He died instantly. The next mo- 
ment the proprietor fell dead from a musket shot and bayonet 
stab delivered by Private Travers E. Brownell, one of Ells- 
worth's comrades. 

^2 BULL RUN". CHAP. iv. 

The movement across the Potomac was necessary for the 
protection of Washington. Since the action of the Virginia 
Convention, in April, small forces of militia had "been posted 
along the Virginia side of the Potomac. Some were at 
Acqnia Creek, some at Alexandria, some at Leesburg hold- 
ing the upper fords of the Potomac and some at Harpers 
Ferry. Should Arlington Heights he occupied and mortar 
batteries erected, Washington would "be at their mercy; for 
Georgetown would be but a mile, the White House but two 
and a half and the Capitol but three and a half miles away.* 
Clearly Alexandria and the Heights must be occupied and 
the rebels forced back beyond range of Washington. But 
until the Ordinance of Secession had been voted on and 
adopted by the people of Virginia and the State out of the 
Union beyond all question the military authorities at Wash- 
ington made no attempt to send troops across the Potomac. 
Then the crossing was made and the troops under General 
Irwin McDowell encamped behind a line of entrenchments 
stretching from the Chain Bridge to Alexandria. 

The Confederates acted with equal promptness and by 
early June the departments of government had been moved 
from Montgomery to Richmond, and General Beauregard! 
sent to take command of the troops gathering at Manassas 
Junction some five and thirty miles from Washington. 

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, born on a plantation 
on the Mississippi River below New Orleans, was the son 
of a wealthy creole planter. The family name was Toutant ; 
and that of the plantation Beauregard. But when he entered 
West Point in 1834: his name was given as Toutant de 
Beauregard, was so entered on the records and Beauregard 
was ever afterward his name. He graduated second in his 
class, became second lieutenant of engineers and as such 
went with the army to Mexico. For gallant conduct at 
Contreras he was brevetted captain; for like conduct at 
Chapultepec he was made brevet major and was mentioned 
by Scott as one of five officers whose behavior during the 
storming and the fight at the gate was "the admiration of 

*Mcolay, Outbreak of the Rebellion, pp. 109, 110. 


all." After the Mexican War Beauregard was put in charge 
o the construction of the Customhouse and the Mint at 
New Orleans and of the forts on the "banks of the Mississippi 
below the city. When the Confederate Congress was in 
session at Montgomery he was appointed Brigadier General 
in the Provisional Army and as such commanded at Charles- 
ton when Sumter was attacked, and after the secession of 
Virginia came north to command the army gathering about 

There, early in June, he issued a proclamation. "A 
reckless and unprincipled tyrant has invaded your soil/' 
said he ? addressing "The good people of the Counties of 
Loudoun ? Fairfax and Prince Williams," ''Abraham Lin- 
coln, regardless of all moral, legal and constitutional re- 
straints, has thrown his abolition hosts among you, who are 
murdering and imprisoning your citizens, confiscating and 
destroying your property and committing other acts of vio- 
lence and outrage too shocking and revolting to humanity to 
be enumerated. All rules of civilized warfare are abandoned 
and they proclaim by their acts, if not on their banners, that 
their war cry is 'Beauty and Booty.' All that is dear to man, 
your honor, and that of your wives and daughters, your 
fortunes, and your lives, are involved in this momentous 
struggle." Therefore, as Brigadier General of the Con- 
federate States commanding at Camp Pickens, Manassas 
Junction, he summoned them by the memory of their revo- 
lutionary brothers, and by the purity and sanctity of their 
domestic firesides to rally to the standard of the State.* 
Two days later Governor Letcher, by proclamation, turned 
over to the Confederate States all volunteer forces which, 
had been mustered into the service of Virginia, and all other 
"regiments, battalions, squadrons and companies" that might 
be formed and called into service in the future, f How 
many were then scattered over Virginia in camps was not 
known; but a careful estimate made by the Adjutant General 

* Official Records, Union and Confederate Armies,, Series 1, voL ii, 
p. 907, June 5, 1861. 
t Ibid., p. 911. 


fixed the number at thirty-six thousand two hundred,* As 
late as the middle of May some had neither uniforms, arms 
nor ammunition ; some had arms but no ammunition. There 
were cavalrymen without sabers and infantry without knap- 
sacks, and such arms as the men carried were mostly old- 
time flintlocks. Of eight hundred and twenty men at 
Williamsburg under Lieutenant Colonel B. S. Ewell not 
more than three hundred were armed and of the three hun- 
dred at least one-half had only flintlock muskets, f "The 
infantry companies/' Colonel Jubal Early wrote from 
Lynchburg, "have no arms whatever and I imagine that 
there are no companies in the counties for which this place 
is the rendezvous which are armed." Mess-pans, camp ket- 
tles, canteens, knapsacks were badly wanted. If knapsacks 
could not be furnished from Richmond, the men could make 
out pretty well by rolling up their clothes in blankets and 
wrapping pieces of coarse cloth around them. $. Of four 
companies at Staunton three were "entirely without arms and 
the fourth, an infantry company, has only some fifty-five 
flintlock muskets in bad order." At Culpeper Court 
House, in one company of a hundred men there were but 
fifty muskets and no ammunition ; in another of sixty-nine 
men, fifty muskets and no ammunition ; in another of eighty- 
eight men, fifty-four muskets and no ammunition. Two 
companies with flintlock muskets altered to percussion cap 
muskets had neither equipments nor ammunition ; and three 
more neither arms, uniforms, equipment nor ammunition. || 
Colonel Thomas Jonathan Jackson, at Harpers Ferry, re- 
ported that he could get enough volunteers from the country- 
side to raise his command to forty-five hundred men, but 
they would be without arms, accouterments and ammuni- 
tion, f When four hundred and eighty Kentucky volunteers 
arrived without arms and he ordered old arms to be issued, 

* Official Records, Union and Confederate Annies, Series 1, vol. ii, 
p. 895. 

f Ibid., p. 854. $Ibid., p. 852. 

Lieutenant Colonel John Echol to Lee, May 15, 1861. Ibid., p. 847. 

|| Brigadier General Philip St. Geo. Cocke, May 8, 1861, p. 819. 

if Official Records, Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, vol. ii, 
page 832. 

1861 McCLELLAN. ^g 

they refused to receive them.* In June, more than two 
regiments were without cartridge boxes. Most of them hav- 
ing traveled by railroad used trunks and valises instead of 
knapsacks. Few were provided with shoes fit for march- 
ing, f All that the State could do to supply arms and 
ammunition was done ; but when the troops were turned over 
to the Confederate Government the flintlock musket, the 
double-barreled shotguns loaded with buckshot formed no 
inconsiderable part of the armament and many a hastily 
raised company had no arms at all. 

During almost two months the armies of Beauregard and 
McDowell faced each other without showing any intention^ 
on the part of either to attack the other. Meantime military 
movements of some importance were under way elsewhere 
in Virginia. Among the military divisions created just 
after the opening of the war were those of Pennsylvania and 
Ohio. That of Pennsylvania, comprising most of that Com- 
monwealth, Delaware and all of Maryland except the District 
of Columbia, was in command of General Robert Patterson. 
To the Department of the Ohio was assigned Major General 
George Brinton McClellan. A native of Philadelphia, son 
of a physician of distinction, a graduate of West Point in 
1846, he entered the army at twenty years of age as brevet 
second lieutenant in the corps of engineers. War with Mex- 
ico had just begun, a company of sappers and miners was 
mustered at West Point and with them he went to Vera 
Cruz ? where his conduct was commended by his superior 
officer. Again and again as the army marched westward 
his name appears in the reports. For efficiency and gal- 
lantry in the battle of Contraras, Twiggs presented "his 
name for the favorable consideration of the General-in- 
Chief." For gallantry in the battle of Molino del Eey he 
was brevetted captain, but declined promotion. Scott named 
him as one of five lieutenants who in the attack on Chapul- 
tepec "won the admiration of all," and at the close of the 
war he was again brevetted captain. In 1851, under Major 

* Official Records, Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, vol. ii, 
p. 810. 

t Ibid., p. 908. 

76 BULL RUN". 


Marey, whose daughter lie married, McOlellan served in the 
expedition which explored the Red River, and two years 
later when the government ordered the survey of five rail- 
road routes across the plains to the Pacific, he surveyed the 
western end of the northern route from the mouth of the 
Columbia across the Cascade Mountains. This done he was 
sent to visit existing railroads and gather from their experi- 
ence data which might be useful in determining which route 
across the plains might be most practicable. In 1855, with 
Colonel Delafield and Major Mordecai, he went to the 
Crimea^ and wrote a critical "Report on the Organization 
of European Armies and the Operations of the War." 

McClellan now resigned his commission, entered the busi- 
ness world, was chief engineer of the Illinois Central Rail- 
road for a few years, and then became President of the 
Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, a position he held when 
Sumter was surrendered and Lincoln called for troops. 

The call required Ohio to furnish thirteen regiments, a 
quota which entitled her to a Major General and to this high 
rank the Governor appointed Captain McClellan. Scarcely 
had he taken up his duties when he was made a Major Gen- 
eral in the regular army and assigned to the command of the 
new Military Department of Ohio, which included Ohio, 
Indiana, Illinois, and part of western Pennsylvania. 

Meantime, in Virginia, neither Governor Letcher nor the 
military authorities considered the Union movement in the 
northwestern counties as a matter for serious consideration. 
Indeed, in his call for volunteers the Governor included that 
section of the State, and sure of a response officers were sent 
to gather and organize them. They reported that disaffec- 
tion was widespread., that Union organizations existed in 
every county, that feeling was bitter against Virginia, and 
that the western section of the State was verging on rebellion. 
Troops were then sent to Beverly to overawe the people, 
serve as a rendezvous for such volunteers as offered, and! 
threaten Grafton, where the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 
divided, one branch going on to Wheeling, and one to Park- 
ersburg on the Ohio. As the twenty-third of May, the day 
whereon the people of Virginia were to vote for, or against, 


the Ordinance of Secession, drew near, troops were moved to 
Grafton. After the vote was taken and Virginia was out 
of the Union, the Confederates opened hostilities and burned 
two bridges on the railroad. McClellan, who had been wait- 
ing until the balloting was over, so that it could not be 
said that he had sought to influence the vote, now ordered 
troops to cross the Ohio to Parkersburg and Wheeling and 
move on Grafton, and issued a proclamation. 

As the Union troops advanced towards Grafton the Con- 
federates fell back to Philippi, where they were surprised and 
routed. More troops were now sent to the Kanawha Valley 
under Wise, Governor of Virginia in the days of John 
Brown, and under Garnett to Beverly. But IfcClellan took 
the field in person and in a short campaign beat and scat- 
tered them all. The battles were small affairs, but great were 
the results. They enabled the Union men to go on unmolested 
in their formation of a new State, forced back the military 
frontier, and brought forward McClellan as an able and suc- 
cessful commander at the very moment when such a general 
was sorely needed. 

The movement of the troops across the Potomac, the occu- 
pation of Arlington, Alexandria, and the country south of it 
raised great expectations, in the Worth, of a coming battle and 
crushing defeat of the Confederate forces assembled at Man- 
assas Junction. As week followed week and no fighting was 
done, no victory won, and the time of service of the three 
months 7 men drew near its end, expressions of discontent, 
loud and strong, rose from a disappointed people. Could 
anything be more ridiculous, it was said, than the sight of 
the two armies in Virginia both willing to fight yet both 
afraid to strike ? Two hostile armies nearly equal in num- 
ber, with no obstacle between them, so near that their pickets 
are constantly shooting each other, lie in camp for weeks with- 
out coming to close quarters. The rebel leaders began by 
threatening to capture Washington and carry the war into 
the North. Now, they are quite content to be let alone. The 
President promised to recapture all places and property taken 
from the United States. Yet no progress has been made in 
any direction. Our troops are eager to fight, anxious to d&- 

fg BULL EON. CHAP. iv. 

cide the issue and go home. Let us, then, have no more 
fooling, no more child's play. Burning houses, furniture and 
libraries is vandalism. Let us fight.* Is the war, the New 
York Tribune asked, to he conducted on political or military 
principles? Is it to be a politicians' war looking to com- 
promise, or a soldiers' war for the maintenance of the Union ? 
This is the great question, a question raised not by the people 
but by the Administration. Heretofore it has been conducted 
as a politicians' war with compromise always in the back- 
ground. Why else was Butler disgraced because he occupied 
Baltimore and reduced it to order? Why else should 
Patterson's army be kept out of Virginia for a fortnight 
leaving the rebels to destroy the property of loyal men? 
Why else is that gallant and energetic soldier, McDowell, 
condemned to inactivity in the face of the enemy? Why 
else are Lyon and Blair blamed for saving Missouri? If 
the men in Washington are ready to do their duty let them 
see to it that the Stars and Stripes float over Richmond before 
the twentieth of July. The Nation's war cry is "Forward 
to Richmond! Forward to Richmond! The Rebel Con- 
gress must not be allowed to meet there on the twentieth of 


Even the South complained of delay. Nothing, it was 
pointed out, would have been easier than for Maryland and 
Virginia, or Virginia alone to have prevented the inaugura- 
tion of Lincoln, or driven his Government north of the Masort 
and Dixon line. At any time during March a few Virginia 
troops could have expelled it from Washington. But this 
was not done and every day since his inauguration troops for 
defense of the Capital have been brought in faster than the 
South levied them for assault, and the North has gone on 
blockading the Chesapeake and the rivers of eastern Vir- 
ginia, and has seized Alexandria. But why let it have New- 
port News, ravage the peninsula between the York and James 
Rivers, fortify Arlington Heights and hold one-half of Fair- 
fax County?| 

*:New York Herald, June 28, 1861. 
f New York Tribune, June 27, 1861. 
$ Richmond Examiner, JSTew York Tribune, July 3, 1861. 


A battle in Virginia was far from meeting the approval 
of Scott; but the President on the twenty-ninth of June, 
yielding to popular clamor and political necessity, held a 
Cabinet council before which McDowell laid a plan of 
attack to be undertaken, provided Patterson held Johnston 
in the Shenandoah Valley. 

The plan was approved and at three o'clock on the after- 
noon of the sixteenth of July the march began. On the 
seventeenth the troops were at Eairfax Court House; on the 
eighteenth Centreville was occupied. This was slow prog- 
ress ; but no better time could be made for the men, as Mc- 
Dowell afterwards stated, were not accustomed to marching 
and were not in condition to carry even the load of light 
marching order.* As they advanced the Confederates aban- 
doned their camp and fell back so hastily that flour, fresh 
beef, intrenching tools, hospital furniture, baggage were left 
behind. At Fairfax Court House even the pickets were not 
withdrawn and came into the Union camp thinking, as it 
occupied the same place, it was their own. -j- Friday and 
Saturday the nineteenth and twentieth were spent in re- 
connoitering the defenses of the enemy on Bull Run, which, 
"though not a wide stream, is only to be crossed at certain 
places owing to its precipitous, rocky banks." $ 

Beauregard, meantime, had called for reinforcements, 
and Johnston, at one o'clock on the morning of the eighteenth, 
received an order to join him if practicable. It was prac- 
ticable for Patterson was then at Charlestown, twenty-two 
miles from Winchester. 

As soon as it was decided to attack Beauregard at Manas- 
sas, Patterson was ordered to remain in front of the enemy, 
hold his attention, and ; if not outnumbered, fight. Patter- 
son, sure he was far outnumbered, called for more guns and 
troops. They were sent and July second he crossed the Po- 
tomac, advanced to Martinsburg, was informed that on the 

* McDowell's Report, Official Records, Union and Confederate 
Armies, Series 1, vol. ii, p. 324. 
f Ibid., pp. 305, 306, 309. 
t Ibid., p. 308. 



sixteenth McDowell would begin Ms advance, was directed to 
at least mate a demonstration against Johnston and keep him) 
at Winchester, advanced to Bunker Hill, was there dissuaded 
by his officers from going further, and on the seventeenth fell 
back to Charlestown. Soon after midnight on the seventeenth 
Johnston was ordered to join Beauregard. On the following 
day he set off with nine thousand men, marched through 
Ashby's Gap in the Blue Eidge Mountains to Piedmont on 
the Manassas Gap Eailroad, whence seven regiments were 
carried by train to Manassas Junction which they reached 
on the afternoon of the nineteenth. Johnston with more 
troops arrived on the twentieth and the rest of his force on 
the afternoon of the twenty-first in time to take part in the 

And now the time of the three months' men began to expire. 
That of two regiments, the Fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, 
and the battery of Volunteer Artillery of the Eighth ISTew 
York militia had expired and they insisted on their dis- 
charge, "I wrote to the regiment as pressing a request as I 
could pen/' said McDowell, "and the Honorable Secretary 
of War, who was at the time on the ground, tried to induce 
the battery to remain at least five days but in vain. They 
insisted on their discharge. It was granted; and the next 
morning when the army moved into battle, these troop$ 
moved to the rear to the sound of the enemy's cannon." 

To the west of Centreville, some three miles away, flowed 
between steep rocky banks the narrow, sluggish stream of 
Bull Run. The Warrenton turnpike stretching westward 
from Centreville crossed the Run on a stone bridge. Eight 
miles to the southward of the bridge the Run was crossed by 
the Manassas Railroad. Between the stone bridge and the 
railroad were six fords, and along the west bank, holding the 
fords and the bridges, lay the army of Beauregard. On 
the morning of Thursday the eighteenth of July, General 
Tyler with the advance of the army reached Centreville. The 
hamlet stood on a hill from which he saw spread out before 
him the valley, the River, and beyond it the high plateau 
destined to be the place of the coming battle. Hearing that 
the enemy had gone down a road leading to Mitchell's and 


Blackburn's Fords, lie ordered a reconnaissance. But the 
enemy was found in force; guns and troops were sent for; 
and the reconnaissance became a skirmish and then a battle, 
which raged for three hours before McDowell ordered the 
men back to Centreville. 

Friday and Saturday were spent in a search for an unde- 
fended ford, a search which delayed the battle until Sun- 
day. Johnston and Eeauregard had planned to cross at the 
fords that Sunday morning, march on Centreville and attack 
the Union army in its camp 5 but McDowell struck first 

His plan was to leave a division at Centreville in reserve, 
have a brigade threaten Blackburn's Ford, send Tyler to 
threaten the Stone Bridge, and have Hunter and Heintzel- 
man march by night to within a mile of the bridge, turn 
northward, cross Bull Run at Sudley Springs Ford, come 
down on the flank and rear of the enemy at the Stone Bridge, 
drive them back, open a passage across the bridge for Tyler's 
men, and attack in force. Tyler's division was to move at 
half past two on the morning of Sunday the twenty-first of 
July. But the troops were raw, the men and wagons moved 
slowly, and half past six came before General Tyler reached 
the Stone Bridge and opened with his artillery. It was 
nine o'clock before the advance under Hunter and Heintzel- 
man reached Sudley Ford. It was ten when it came out of 
the woods a mile north of the Warrenton Pike to find the 
Confederates on a ridge between them and the Pike. The 
battle now opened in earnest. The Union troops pressed gal- 
lantly forward. The Confederates resisted stubbornly, but 
soon wavered, yielded, broke, and fled down the ridge, across 
Young's Branch, and over the Pike to find refuge behind the 
troops of G-eneral Jackson drawn up on the plateau between 
the Eobinson and Henry houses. It was to these retreating 
men that G-eneral Bee cried: "look at Jackson standing 
like a stone wall," and as "Stonewall" Jackson he has ever 
since been known. 

Against this line the Union army moved, climhed the slope, 
occupied the north end of the plateau, and drove the enemy 
back into the woods. Beauregard ordered a counter attack. 
The Union center was pierced, the line broken and the men 

32 BULL RUN". CHAP. iv. 

driven from tlie plateau. But they rallied and drove the 
Confederates back into the woods. At three o'clock McDowell 
thought the fight was won. "The enemy/' he said, "were 
evidently disheartened and broken." But his own men had 
been on foot since midnight. Some had made what, for raw 
troops, was a long and fatiguing inarch. Some of the regi- 
ments which had been driven from the plateau in the attempt 
of the enemy to get possession of it, were shaken, unsteady, 
and had men out of ranks. Captain Woodbury declared that 
at four o'clock there were more than twelve thousand volun- 
teers on the field who had lost their regimental organization. 
They could no longer be handled as troops because officers and 
men were not together. They were disorganized not by de- 
feat, or fear, but because the discipline which keeps every 
man in his place had not been acquired. 

While organization was slowly going to pieces, Beauregard 
determined to make a final effort to drive the Yankees from 
the hotly contested plateau. The order was given, but before 
it could be executed loud cheering announced the arrival of 
three regiments, the remainder of Johnston's army from 
Winchester. Thus reinforced Beauregard attacked at once. 
The Union army had lost its morale. Detachment after 
detachment left the field. McDowell, finding "that nothing 
remained on that field but to recognize what we could no 
longer prevent/' gave the "order to protect their withdrawal, 
begging the men to form in line and offer the appearance, at 
least, of organization and force." 

It was some time before Johnston and Beauregard could 
believe that the Union army was really in retreat. When atf 
last they were convinced Stuart was sent to give chase along 
the SucQey Road, Radford was ordered to attack the troops 
moving along the pike, and Bonham, with Longstreet's men, 
the line of retreat at Centreville. Ere the pursuers reached 
the pike it had become the scene of panic and confusion. On- 
the day before the battle scores of civilians, eager to behold 
a great battle, had come down from Washington and were 
even then strolling about the bivouacs around Centreville. 
On Sunday came Senators, Representatives and more civi- 
lians who moved down the Warrenton Pike to the neighbor- 



hood of the Stone Bridge, where the rattle of musketry could 
be heard, and the smoke and dust of battle and the movements 
of the troops, he seen. At the first rush of fugitives from 
the field, newspaper correspondents, civilians and congress- 
men started for Centreville spreading panic among the 
drivers of baggage wagons, ammunition wagons, ambulances 
which lined the pike from the Stone Bridge to Cub Run. The 
retreating troops, the sound of musketry growing louder and 
louder hastened their flight. Coats and hats were thrown 
aside. Guns were flung away. Wagons were abandoned, 
and panic-stricken teamsters galloped off on horses cut from 
their wagons. Even ambulances with wounded were left by 
the roadside. While this panic was at its height, Radford's 
cavalry reached the scene, hovered along the pike, and from 
time to time, dashed in on the fugitives. A battery of light 
artillery established itself where it could command the little 
bridge over Cub Run. When, therefore, the troops which re- 
treated by way of Sudley Ford reached the pike, it was neces- 
sary for them to pass within range of the battery which 
opened fire. 

A shot killed a team, overturned the wagon in the center 
of the bridge, and completely blocked the passage. The 
enemy continued to play his artillery upon the train of 
carriages, ambulances, artillery wagons that filled the road, 
and reduced them to ruin. Five pieces of the Rhode Island 
Battery, which had been safely brought off the field were 
lost* "The infantry, as they reached the bridge, were pelted 
with showers of grape and shot, were thrown into confusion, 
and could not be rallied again for a distance of three miles." f 
The pursuit ended at Cub Run. 

Among those who fled along the pike toward Centreville 
was Lyman Trumbull, a Senator from Illinois. In company; 
with Senators Wade, Chandler, Grimes, and Mr. Brown, 
Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate, he left Washington early 
Sunday morning, drove to CentreviUe, where he and Grimes 
procured saddle horses and rode down the pike towards the 

"Burnside's Report, July 24, 1861. Official Kecords, Union and 
Confederate Armies, Series 1, vol. ii, p. 397 
tlbid., p. 397. 


Stone Bridge to a field hospital. There Senator MeDougall 
joined them and the three went back for Innch to a house 
nearer Oentreville and a hundred yards or so from the road. 
Just as they finished eating a great noise was heard. Looking 
towards the road they beheld it "filled with wagons, horsemen 
and footmen in full run towards Centreville." Mounting 
their horses they galloped to the pike, found it crowded with 
fugitives, and not knowing what else to do went along with 
them. On the way "many soldiers threw away their guns 
and knapsacks." "It was the most shameful rout you can 
conceive of. I suppose two thousand soldiers came into 
Centreville in this disorganized condition." Between Oen- 
treville and Washington Trumbull saw thousands of shovels, 
axes, boxes of provisions and overturned wagons littering 
the road which "was full of four-horse wagons retreating as 
fast as possible, and also of flying soldiers who could not 
be made to stop." A file of men was finally put across the 
pike and the wagons and some fugitives were stopped. But 
the stragglers climbed the fences and got past. * 

The correspondent of the London Times was another who 
beheld the flight, and left a record of what he saw. Every 
carriage, gig, wagon, hack and saddle horse, had been hired 
by men going to see the battle. But a liberal use of money 
secured for him a gig, a saddle horse, and a negro boy to 
ride it, and bright and early on the twenty-first he set off over 
Long Bridge with a companion. On the way to Centreville a 
cloud of dust appeared over the tree tops, and he soon came 
up with the head of a column of Union soldiers marching 
without order. They were men of the Fourth Pennsylvania 
going home. When the road to Oentreville was reached he 
found it jammed with buggies, carts and wagons full of 
civilians. On top of a hill was a crowd of spectators on, 
horseback, and in vehicles of every sort and description. 
Leaving the gig, his companion and the negro boy at Oentre- 
ville, he mounted the saddle horse and rode towards the 
front. Near the Stone Bridge loud shouts were heard, and 

* Trumbull to Ms wife, July 22, 1861. White's Life of Trumbull, pp, 

1861 THE FUGITIVES. g 5 

he saw wagons coming from the battlefield, the drivers striv- 
ing to get by the ammunition wagons going to the front. 
Beside the wagons were men in uniform who called to him 
as they passed, "turn back; turn back." Beyond the bridge 
he entered a corn field crowded with men, without muskets, 
some walking, some running, and rode for a mile over ground 
strewn with coats and blankets, caps and belts. On the road 
were infantry on mules and gun horses, their chains trailing 
in the dust. Joining the fleeing mass he reached Washington 
by midnight.* About ten o'clock orders were given to fall 
back to the Potomac. 

The retreat was by night and disorderly in the extreme. 
Men of different regiments mingled together. Some reached 
the river at Alexandria. Some crossed the Long Bridge. 
The greater part returned to their old camps near Fort Ooeh- 

Towards daylight on the morning of Monday the twenty- 
second of July, the foremost in flight, hungry, weary, footsore 
and dirty crossed Long Bridge over the Potomac and entered 
the streets of Washington. Little groups, men all alone, 
squads, now and then a regiment passed before the astonished 
gaze of the inhabitants. Many a man, exhausted by four- 
and-twenty hours of marching and fighting sank down on a; 
doorstep, at the foot of a tree, or on the ground beside a 
fence, and fell asleep in the rain. Good citizens realizing the 
plight of the men, prepared kettles of soup, and coffee; set 
tables on the sidewalk, and loaded them with bread and served 
the soldiers with the only food many a one had tasted since he 
threw away his rations the day before. $ 

To the Confederate Army, in the opinion of Johnston, vic- 
tory was more demoralizing than was defeat to the Union. 
Believing that all their country required had been done, many 
Southern volunteers left, and hastened home to show the 
trophies picked up on the field. Others left their colors to 

* William Howard Russell, My Diary North and South, pp. 442-454. 

t General W. T. Sherman's Report, Official Records, Series 1, vol. ii, 

p. 571. 

return of the defeated troops to Washington is described by 
Walt Whitman in Specimen Days and Collect. 

86 BULL RUN. CHAP. iv. 

attend to wounded friends, even going with them to hospitals 
in distant towns. With such as remained the Confederate 
commander made a fortified camp and reoceupied his old 
positions at Centreville and Fairfax Court House. 

Alarmed, and justly alarmed for the safety of the Capital, 
Scott ordered McCleEan to come down the Shenandoah 
Valley with such troops as could be spared from Western 
Virginia, and make head against the enemy in that quarter.* 
Colonel Sickels and his regiment were called from "New 
Torkf Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania was urged to 
forward that night all the troops he could, $ and the next 
day McClellan was called to Washington. Patterson., whosef 
term would expire in five days, had already "been notified^ 
that he would then he honorably discharged. Banks had been 
ordered to Harpers Eerry to assume command of Patter- 
son's army, and Dix to Baltimore to relieve General Cadwal- 
ader. ]| Ere the month closed most of the three months' 
men were back in their homes and their places at the front 
had been taken by those who had volunteered for three years. 

The battle fought and won, the people of Kichmond turned 
to the care of the wounded. The Mayor by proclamation an- 
nounced that the telegraph reported a glorious victory at 
Hanassas, that wounded from all the Confederate States re- 
quired succor, and asked all citizens to meet that afternoon 
at the Washington Monument and decide on measures of re- 
lief. Two committees were then appointed, one to go to 
Manassas and bring in the wounded ; the other to arrange for 
their care in private houses, and such hospitals as could be 
hastily made ready, f 

As anxiety for the safety of the Capital went down, the 
Iforth, mortified by defeat, began a search for some one on 
whom to lay the blame. It was due to the conduct of in- 
ferior officers and the failure of Patterson to obey the orders 

"" * Official Records, Series 1, vol. ii, p. 749. 
f Ibid., p. 749. 
tlbid., p. 750. 
flbid., p. 753. 

II General Order No. 46, July 19, 1861. Ibid., p. 171. 
f Biclunond Enquirer, July 22, 1861. Also July 24, 29. 


of the "War Department and prevent Johnston hurrying re- 
enforcements to Beauregard. Indignation against him was 
almost universal. It was due to tie teamsters, Congressmen 
politicians, newspaper correspondents and civilians of all 
sorts who at the first alarm fled like sheep. It was due to 
the regulars who in contempt of the volunteers drove their 
caissons furiously through the ranks when going to the rear 
for ammunitions and so started the belief that the front ranks 
were giving way. It was due to want of a general able to 
handle the troops. Scott was to blame for yielding to popular 
clamor before the army was ready to move, and for entrusting 
the command to so ill fitted a general as Irwin McDowell. 
With an able commander neither civilians nor camp followers 
could have made confusion, indeed, could not have been on 
the field. Scott, in the opinion of Thurlow Weed, had planned 
a summer and autumn campaign to end the war. Camps of 
instruction were to be formed. Raw troops were to be drilled 
and when ready sent into the field. But this was not in 
accord with the popular idea. Quick, immediate action was 
demanded, and the Tribune raised the cry of "on to Rich- 
mond." Congress met and Senators and Eepresentatives took 
up the cry. The President was visited. Complaints were 
made concerning the inactivity of the army, and Scott was 
urged to go "on to Richmond" at once. Thus beset the old 
general for once in his life was moved from his position, for 
once his mind became the mind of others. To have resisted 
would have overthrown the Administration and the battle of 
Manassas became a political, not a military necessity.* 
The Secretary of War was denounced and a new Cabinet 
demanded. The New Tork Sabbath Committee, which had 
been busy attempting to prevent apple women and candy deal- 
ers from vending their wares and newsboys from selling their 
newspapers on the Sabbath, were of the opinion that the cause 
of defeat was fighting the battle on Sunday. At a meeting in 
the Baptist Church on Madison Avenue, New Tork, on the 
evening of the Sunday following the battle, a meeting called 
to consider what to do for the sick and dying soldiers in 

* New York Herald, August, 1861, 



Washington, Dr. Stephen H. Tyng declared that the battle 
"was fought on Sunday and that was reason enough for 
defeat. History has recorded the fact that the party who 
attacks in war on Sunday has invariably been defeated." * 

As news of the battle spread over the South exultation! 
mingled with savage hatred of the orth found expression in 
the speeches of orators, and in the issues of the daily press. 
The rout and dispersion at the great battle at Manassas has 
brought into bold relief the fact that the Yankees are hum- 
bugs. The white people of the slave-holding states are the 
true masters, the real rulers of the continent. Under the 
direction of the most-vaunted military character of the age, 
not of their production for they never produced a genius 
capable of anything beyond arranging a hotel, working a 
steam engine, or directing some base mechanical contrivance, 
they spent millions of dollars in money, drilled three hun- 
dred thousand men, and equipped them in a way unheard of 
in the annals of war. They met the rude, poorly equipped 
volunteers of the Southern States and were routed and slain 
by thousands, and driven like chaff before the wind. Yankees 
are very little better than Chinese. The breakdown of the 
Yankee race, their unfitness for empire, forces dominion 
on the South. "We are compelled to take the scepter of power. 
We must adapt ourselves to our new destinies. We must 
elevate our race, every man of it, breed them up to arms, to 
command, to empire, f 

We have driven back to their dens the boasting invaders 
of our soil. We have mowed them down by hundreds and 
by thousands. We have captured their batteries and sent' 
them howling and panic-stricken from the field of fight. The 
first regiment of the enemy that crossed over from Washing- 
ton, the Ellsworth Zouaves, have fled from the field with only 
two hundred left. Retributive justice has overtaken the first 
of the enemy to set foot on thd sacred soil of Virginia. $ 

The Southern flag proudly floats over the prostrate foe. 

*Hew York Herald, July 24, 25, 30. August 2, 1861. Philadelphia 
Ledger, August 2, 1861. 
t Richmond Whig, July 23, 1861. 
j New Orleans Crescent, July 23, 1861. 


The insolent invaders of Virginia soil bite the dust Their 
pale corpses strew the field of encounter. The haughty North 
has received a bloody lesson, has felt the weight of the South- 
ern arm uplifted in defense of Southern soil. Our people 
weigh the result of the battle. It will perhaps be the de- 
cisive battle of the war. The l^orth will not likely recover 
from a reverse so signal and decisive. It will dishearten our 
enemies, destroy their credit, dampen the ardor of volunteer- 
ing to fight in a cause on which rests the curse of God, 
and force them to make peace.* 

* Memphis Avalanche, quoted by the New York Herald, July 26, 




since the United States became a Nation had its 
relations with Great Britain been so cordial, so friendly, as in 
the closing months of 1860. For the first time in eighty 
years no international question of any importance awaited 
settlement. All had been adjusted or forgotten and, as a 
special mark of friendliness, the Prince of Wales had come 
to visit us and was making his triumphant progress through 
the States. This condition of peace and quiet, unhappily 
was but the lull which precedes the storm. As the move- 
ment in the South passed rapidly from secession to a state of 
war, Great Britain took sides, and in a little while the 
public men, the public organs, the people of the two coun- 
tries were abusing and vilifying each other as heartily as in 
the old days of free trade and sailors' rights. That govern- 
ment by the people had, as usual, failed; that the Union 
was broken never to be united ; that there must henceforth be 
two, or perchance three little Republics where there had been 
but one, great and powerful, was the firm belief of men fore- 
most in every walk in life in England. Lord John Russell 
could not see how the United States could be cobbled together 
again by any compromise. South Carolina declared she 
had a right to secede and did secede. Lincoln's party de- 
clared secession was rebellion and must be put down. There 
was no way of reconciling such parties. The wisest course! 
would be to admit the right of secession, and let there be a 
separation; one Eepublic to be founded on the principle of 
slavery and the surrender of fugitives."* He supposed the 
break-up of the Union must be considered inevitable, f The 
very day Lincoln took the oath of office, when, the Confederacy 

* Russell to Lyons, January 18, 1861. C. F. Adams, Massachusetts 
Historical Society Proceedings, vol. xlviii, p. 203. 
t Ibid., Russell to Lyons, January 22, 1861, p. 204. 


was but three weeks old, Mr. Gregory, the member from 
Glasgow, gave notice in the House of Commons of a motion 
to call the attention of Her Majesty's government to the expe- 
diency of prompt recognition of the Southern Confederacy. 
When returning thanks for his election, as member from 
Tiverton, Lord Palmerston told his constituents that there 
was but one spot on the political horizon the contemplation 
of which must inspire uneasiness and regret. "I mean," 
said he 5 "those convulsions taking place among our cousins 
in North America leading to a dissolution of the formerly 
United States. I am sure that every man who hears me, 
that every British breast, will feel that it is our cordial wish 
that results may be brought about by amicable adjustments; 
that the world may be saved from the afflicting spectacle of 
seeing brothers arming against brothers, and parents against 
children; of seeing the state of social happiness which has 
hitherto been the admiration of mankind, deformed by dis- 
pute, and a country once the scene of peace and industry 
polluted by the effusion of blood." 

No event in our day, said the Saturday Beview, has been 
half so wonderful as the one before us. Who would have 
believed, a priori, that in the nineteenth century the grand- 
sons of Englishmen would organize a new State solely on the 
principle of preserving and extending slavery. A more 
ignoble basis for a great Confederation cannot be imagined. 
No great career can lie before the Southern States bound to- 
gether by the tie of a working class of negro bondsmen. As- 
suredly it will be the Northern Confederation with a working 
class of free white men that will grow and prosper and become 
the leader in the New World. 

One result of the American Revolution may safely be 
predicted. The two Eepublics, if not absolutely hostile, will 
yet dread each other's hostility. The prospect for the late 
United States is not bright. Neither Mr. Lincoln nor Mr. 
Davis will have a quiet reign. With them has come in a new 
system. The broad track marked out by the founders has 
been definitely abandoned, and some of us may live to see 
whether, like Europe, she is divided into antagonistic nations 
with fixed politics, or, like South America, split up into a 


number of snarling communities.* For tlie President the 
Times had nothing but contempt. Ever since he delivered his 
inaugural, the American public had been trying to decide 
whether he meant war or peace. Even the most acute com- 
mentators could not decide; and no wonder, for there were 
those who said that Mr. Lincoln himself knew no more of 
his own intentions than did his supporters. He is too busy 
filling vacancies to attend to such matters as how to evacuate 
Sumter, and what to do next. Thus the critical days fly by, 
and we know no more of the plans of the American Govern- 
ment, and for aught we can see the American Government 
knows no more of its own plan, than on the day it took office. 
Let the Americans read the Fourth of July orations on which 
they have been reared and see how great is the error of striv- 
ing to perpetuate by bloodshed and force a union between two 
nations speaking the same language, and sprung from the 
same race, when that union has long ceased to be one of 
friendship and good wilLf 

While the newspapers were supplying their readers with 
such information and thereby greatly affecting public opin- 
ion, the Foreign Minister, Lord John Russell, was receiving 
information concerning the state of affairs Worth and South, 
from the British Minister, Lord Lyons, and the British 
Consul at Charleston, Robert Bunch. After the Provisional 
Government was set up at Montgomery, Bunch wrote that he 
was convinced the new Republic would never become a great 
power and gave three reasons. It was founded on a monopoly 
of cotton, and from the moment its cultivation was impeded 
or destroyed by causes physical or political, or by the substitu- 
tion of some cheaper fiber, the importance of the Southern 
States must diminish and their claim to consideration disap- 
pear. It was based, in the second place, on the preservation 
and extension of negro slavery. It seemed impossible in the 
present age that a Government avowedly established on such 
principles in defiance of the sentiments of nature and civiliza- 
tion, could succeed. It would be ostracized by the public 
opinion of the world, and considered only as a grower of 

London Times, March 26, 1861. 
t Ibid., April 5, 1861. 


cotton and rice. But there was a third ground on which the 
new Confederacy was likely to create an unfavorable opinion 
abroad, and this was, the filibustering propensities which 
would develop as soon as the dread of war with the North had 
proved unfounded.* 

Concerning the men who were to administer government, 
Bunch gave his Lordship no favorable account. Davis, all 
his life, had held the extremest Southern and pro-slavery 
views, was a firm believer in the "manifest destiny" of the 
South to overrun Mexico, Central America and Cuba and 
turn them into slaveholding States of a Southern Confeder- 
acy, was a warm advocate of the filibustering expeditions of 
Lopez and Walker and others, and had endeared himself to 
the most advanced States-rights party by his support, in the 
Senate, of their doctrine. His election was due, in very large 
part, to a high opinion of his military abilities. The South 
firmly believed that a civil war must result from a dissolution 
of the Union, and thought it prudent that the duties of the 
Commander in Chief should be discharged by one willing and 
able to take the field in person if necessary. Toombs was a 
violent and impulsive man, no diplomat, an orator, a seces- 
sionist of the worst kind. His appointment was unfortunate. 
Memminger was the reputed son of a low German, had been 
brought up in the Orphan House in Charleston, was a lawyer, 
a clear-headed man, but not believed to be heartily enlisted 
in the present movement. He was made Secretary of the 
Treasury because of financial aptitude and great powers for 
sustained labor. Concerning the rest of the members of the 
Cabinet there was not much to be said. Save the President, 
not one of them rose above the dead level of mediocrity to 
which the popular institutions of the Republic seemed to have 
condemned its political leaders. The bombastic self-glorifi- 
cation so common in the United States saw in every ordinary 
speaker a Burke, in every moderately clever lawyer an Eldon, 
in every captain of militia a Napoleon or a Wellington, f 

* Bunch to Kussell, February 28, 1861, C. F. Adams, Massachusetts 
Historical Society Proceedings, vol. xlviii, p. 208. 
flbicL, pp. 206, 207. 


Quite as unfavorable were his sketches of the three Con- 
federate commissions whom Russell was soon to meet. Mann 
was the son of a bankrupt grocer in eastern Virginia and 
had been made commissioner because of some experience in, 
what was called "court life/' meaning the management of 
public affairs in Europe, he having negotiated a treaty with 
Switzerland, and having been sent by Webster into Hungary 
with a roving commission, to encourage the Hungarians in 
their revolt.* On his return he became Undersecretary of 
State. He was said by those who knew him to be a mere 
trading politician with no originality of mind and no special 
merit of any sort. 

Tancey was a lawyer of repute and a man of parts, a fluent 
speaker, a fine stump orator, possessing much power over the 
masses; but was impulsive, erratic and hot-headed, a rabid 
secessionist, a favorer of the revival of the slave trade and a 
filibuster of the extreme type of manifest destiny. As to 
Judge Eost, Bunch knew nothing, save that he was a sugar 
planter in Louisiana, f 

Prom. Lord Lyons came sketches of Seward. He has, 
wrote his Lordship, unbounded confidence in his skill in, 
managing the American people. He thinks that with the; 
influence and the patronage of the Federal Government at 
his command, he shall have little difficulty in turning the 
tide of popular feeling in the South. He thinks that in a 
few months the evils and hardships caused by secession will 
become intolerable, and the conservative element, kept down 
by the pressure of the secessionists, will emerge with irresis- 
tible force. He then hopes to put himself at the head of a 
strong Union party with ramifications North and South, and 
make Union or Disunion, not Freedom or Slavery, the watch- 
words of both parties. He seemed to take it for granted that 
Lincoln would leave the whole management of affairs to 
him. $ Lord Lyons could not help fearing Seward would be 

*For this mission see History of the People of the United States, 
vol. viii, pp. 144r-147. 

t Bunch to Russell, March 21, 1861. C. F. Adams. Massachusetts 
Historical Society Proceedings, vol. xlviii, pp. 209, 210. 

t Lyons to Russell, February 4, 1861. Ibid., pp. 212, 213. 



a dangerous Foreign Minister. He had always thought the 
relations between the United States and Great Britain good 
material for political capital, that they might be safely 
played with and yet incur no risk of bringing on war. The 
temptation would be great for the Lincoln party, if not 
actually engaged in civil war, to seek to divert public excite- 
ment to a foreign quarrel* He had told the Bremen Min- 
ister that nothing would give him more pleasure than to see 
a European power interfere in favor of South Carolina, for 
then he should "pitch, into" that Power, and South Carolina 
and the seceding States would soon join him in doing so. f 
Lincoln had not given any proof of possessing any natural 
talents to compensate for his ignorance of everything but 
Illinois polities. He seemed well meaning and conscientious, 
in the measure of his understanding, but not much. more. $ 

Interesting as may have been the information and char- 
acter sketches furnished by the Minister and the Consul, 
they concerned Lord Russell far less than the questions 
whether a blockade would or would not be laid on the South- 
ern ports, whether the blockade of so long a coast could be 
made effective according to international law; and what 
would be the effect of the state of affairs in America on 

Certain members had already begun to question him. One 
day in April Lord Alfred Churchill gave notice of his inten- 
tion to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether 
it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to recognize 
the Confederate States of America without a guarantee that 
the flag of that Confederacy shall not be made subservient to 
the slave trade, whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's 
Government to invite a conference of the European powers 
on the subject, so as to prevent the slave trade being re- 
opened or carried on under the flag of the said confedera- 

* Lyons to Russell, January 7, 1861. C. F. Adams. Massachusetts 
Historical Society Proceedings, vol. xlviii, p 214. 
t Ibid., February 4, 1861, pp. 217, 219. 
$ Ibid., April 9, 1861, p. 224. 
House of Commons, April 9, 1861. 


Mr. Gregory now gave notice that on April twelfth he 
would move to call the attention of the House to the expedi- 
ence of the prompt recognition of the Southern Confederacy 
of America. Thereupon Mr. Forster gave notice that he 
should move, as an amendment, that this House does not at 
present desire to express any opinion in favor of the recogni- 
tion of the Confederacy, and trusts that Her Majesty's Gov- 
ernment will at no time make such recognition, without 
obtaining due security against the renewal of the African 
slave trade.* Doubt as to what Lincoln would do was now 
removed by the arrival of the news of the fall of Sumter, the 
call for troops, and the rising of the Worth. The day it 
became known in London, Mr. Gregory rose in the House 
of Commons and said, that in deference to the opinion of the 
Foreign Secretary, who had informed him that a discussion 
at that time of the expedience of a prompt recognition of the 
Southern Confederacy would be embarrassing to the public 
service, he would postpone, for a fortnight, the motion which 
stood in his name for to-morrow night, f 

In the upper house. Earl Malmesbury asked the under- 
secretary of Foreign Affairs whether Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment had attempted to prevent the quarrel between the differ- 
ent States of America coming to a bloody issue, and if so 
what hopes were there of success, and if Her Majesty's Gov- 
ernment was in communication with other European Govern- 
ments for the purpose of attempting to stop a civil war. 

Lord "Wodehouse answered that Her Majesty's Government 
had considered whether there were any steps which might 
arrest so great a calamity; but, after due consideration, 
thought it not desirable for Great Britain to intrude advice 
and counsel on the United States. The Government was 
not, and had not been, in communication with any foreign 
Government, nor taken any steps to prevent a civil war. 

The Times remarked that the challenge of the Confederate 
States had been promptly accepted, that President Lincoln 
could no longer be accused of having no designated policy. 
Were a literal interpretation put on the proclamation, wai? 

* House of Commons, April 9, 1861. 
t Ibid., April 29, 1861. 


had teen declared, and a call made for seventy-five thousand 
troops. In a state paper, so weak and wordy as to contrast 
strangely with those great historical documents which marled 
the birth of the American nation, the President denounced, 
"combinations" existing in the seven insurgent states, and", 
appealed to his fellow-citizens to "favor, facilitate and aid ?? 
his efforts to maintain the war and redress the wrongs of the! 
ISTorth. But was it certain that the document meant exactly 
what It purported on its face to declare ? It may mean what 
we in England, who have been so proud of our strong, bluster^ 
ing son, most dread, and a few weeks may show us Anglo- 
Saxons rushing at each other's throats. But it might also 1 
mean that the President was only taking a formal position, 
consequent on acts of hostility, and that he still intended ta- 
carry out his policy of procrastination.* 

Should a second secession take place, should Virginia, 
IsTorth Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri 
and, perhaps, Maryland, leave the Union, the difficulties of 
the Worth would be overwhelming. The North, had more 
money, more ships, but even with these it could not conquer 
and hold a dozen great territories with some eight million 
people as active and warlike as any on the globe. It was 
to be hoped the Government would see the hopelessness of 
an attempt to coerce soon enough to save the country from 
being drenched with blood.f We of this generation have 
seen wonderful things. But, of all the strange and incon- 
ceivable events of these later days, civil war in America 
is the most inconceivably marvelous. So short-lived has been 
the American Union that men who saw its rise may live to 
see its fall. Lord Ljndhurst, who is happily with us, was 
born a British subject in Boston when Massachusetts was one 
of the United Provinces. Indeed, we are still paying pen- 
sions to loyalists of 1775, when the conquerors in that war 
are destroying the work of their own hands. $ 

Civil War in the once United States, said the Post, has at 
last begun. It is a fratricidal contest, one in which no laurels 

* London Times, April 29, 1861. 
t Ibid., April 30, 1861, 
JIbid., May 7, 1861. 


can be won except those steeped in the best blood of America, 
and has been needlessly and wickedly provoked. In recalling 
this event, equally deplored by the friends of peace in every 
civilized land, justice requires us to admit that the crime of 
civil war cannot be laid at the door of Mr. Lincoln. If Mr. 
Buchanan, at the first indication of rebellion, had sent a few 
vessels of war to Charleston harbor the secessionist movement 
would have been as successfully suppressed as it was in 
1832. We believe that the battle will be fought a Voutrance, 
and that in place of one great, powerful, pretentious republic, 
there will be three confederations equally weak and powerless 
for good.* 

The Daily News observed that up to the election of Mr. 
Lincoln it was the merest paradox to say that popular insti- 
tutions had failed, and no less absurd to say so now that civil 
war has broken out. To hear some people talk one would 
think such a crisis had never befallen any other form of 
government. Have kings, popes, emperors never lost any 
part of their dominions ? Did not England lose these very 
States ? Did not Spain lose Mexico ? Did not Austria load 
Italy and Hungary ? Did not France experience like disas- 
ters? Where, in the history of the world were such losses 
deemed evidence against the form of the government that 
sustained them? It was a favorite maxim with some that 
democratic government in the United States excluded the 
ablest men from office. The present crisis will put this theory 
to the test. A more difficult task never was imposed on any 
ruler than that laid on the shoulders of Mr. Lincoln. To 
many who believe the South can never be coerced the task 
seems impossible of accomplishment. Therefore, the blood 
that must be spilled will be spilled in vain. 25Tot so. The 
war just begun may be obstinate and bloody, but it is hard to 
believe that the South will prevail. 

Concerning the policy of Her Majesty's Government 
towards the Confederacy, now that an appeal to arms had 
been made, Lord Russell had, as yet, given no intimation 
whatever. When Dallas, early in April, called to deliver a 

* London Post, April 27, 1861. 


copy of the Inaugural address, and a copy of Seward's circu- 
lar letter to all representatives of the United States abroad 
bidding them do all in their power to defeat the efforts of rep- 
resentatives of the Confederacy to secure recognition,* and 
made the protest as directed, he was given the unmeaning 
assurance that Her Majesty's Government had not the slight- 
est disposition to grasp at any advantage which might be 
supposed to arise from the unpleasant domestic differences 
in the United States. On the contrary, Her Majesty's Gov- 
ernment would be highly gratified if those differences were 
adjusted, and the Union restored as of old. When Dallas 
suggested that, such being the case, it was most important 
that Great Britain and France abstain from doing what, by 
encouraging groundless hopes, might widen the breach still 
thought capable of being closed, he was answered that the 
matter was not ripe for decision, f But, no sooner did rumors 
of an intended blockade of the Southern ports reach him than 
he began to act, directed that the British fleet in American 
waters be strengthened, and requested a visit from Dallas at 
his home. Dallas went ; was told that the Confederate Com- 
missioners had arrived; that they had not been seen but 
would be, unofficially ; that there was an understanding be- 
tween Her Majesty's Government and France which would 
lead both to take the same course, whatever that course might 
be; and was questioned concerning the rumor of a blockade 
of the ports of the Confederacy. Dallas had no information 
to impart, informed him that Mr. Adams, the new Minister 
from the United States would soon arrive, and it was agreed 
to disregard the rumors and wait for the full information Mr. 
Adams would bring. J 

On the third of May Eussell met Tancey and Rost, and 
six days later met them again. Meanwhile, on the fourth 
of May, the President's proclamation of blockade was pub- 
lished, and May sixth Mr. Gregory, in the House of Com- 

* Circular, March 9, 1861, Senate Documents, 37tli Congress, 2nd 
Session, vol. i, pp. 32, 33. 

t Dallas to Seward, April 9, 1861. Ibid., vol. i, pp. 80-82. 
d., May 2, 1861, p. 84 


mons, remarked that Mr. Lincoln had declared a blockade 
of seven States, and asked three questions: Whether any 
attempt of the Federal Government to levy dues on foreign 
vessels outside the ports of ITorth Carolina and Virginia, 
before such vessels broke bulk, would not be an infringement 
of international law, and if so ? whether the British Minister 
at Washington had received instructions ? 

Whether the Government of the United States had been 
informed that a blockade of any port in the Southern Con- 
federacy, unless effective, would not be recognized ? 

Whether the United States having refused to relinquish 
the right to issue letters of marque, the seven Southern Con- 
federated and Sovereign States having become, as to the 
United States, a separate and independent or Sovereign 
Power, Her Majesty's Government recognized the right of 
the President of the Southern Confederacy to issue letters 
of marque, and if so had Lord Lyons been notified ? * 

To the first, Lord Russell replied: the Queen's Advocate 
had said the question must depend on the circumstances of 
the case, and that it could not be declared beforehand whether 
such a case would or would not be contrary to International 
Law. As to the second, it was not necessary to give Lord 
Lyons instructions. The principle was well known to him, 
and it had been declared by the United States, that no block- 
ade was valid unless effective. As to belligerent rights when 
citizens of a part of a State were in insurrection there was a 
precedent in the case of Greece and Turkey. In 1825 Great 
Britain allowed belligerent rights to Greece, though Turkey 
remonstrated. In the case of the United States, law officers 
of the Crown had been consulted and they and the Govern- 
ment were of the opinion that the Southern Confederacy of 
America must be treated as a belligerent, f 

That same day, the sixth of May, Russell wrote Lord 
Lyons that accounts from Her Majest/s Consuls at different 
ports agreed in showing that whatever might be the re- 
sult of the civil war that had broken out between the several 

* Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, May 6, 1861. vol. clxii, pp 1564- 
f London TimeB, May 7, 1861. 


States "of the late Union," for the present "those States 
are separate and distinct confederacies." The question for 
neutral nations to consider was : what is the character of the 
war, and should it be considered a war carried on between 
parties severally in a position to wage war and claim the 
rights and perform the obligations attaching to belligerents ? 
Her Majesty's Government were of the opinion that the 
question could only be answered in the affirmative. If the 
Government of the northern portion "of the late Union/ 7 
possessed the advantages inherent in long-established govern- 
ment, the Government of the southern portion had duly con- 
stituted itself a Government, and carried on in regular form 
the administration of its affairs. Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment, without considering the merits of the question, could 
do no less than accept the facts. It deeply deplored the dis- 
ruption, but could not question the right of the Southern 
States to be recognized as belligerents. 155 " 

Lord Derby, in the House of Lords, reminded their lord- 
ships that the Southern Confederates were sending forth 
letters of marque, and resorting to privateering for the 
purpose of destroying the commerce of the Northern States, 
and the Northern States had declared their intention to re- 
gard such letters of marque and such privateering as piracy. 
Should a British seaman who had entered a Southern pri- 
vateer be captured by a Northern ship of war and con- 
demned to death, his lordship could conceive of nothing 
more certain to involve Great Britain in serious complica- 
tions with the United States, or more likely to make a party 
in the unhappy contest, supposing the British seaman was 
entitled to the protection of his Government. If, on the 
other hand, a British seaman, by entering a Southern priva- 
teer, lost his right to claim the protection of his Govern- 
ment, which his lordship believed was the case, then it should 
be publicly made known to him, and his blood would then 
be on his own head. His lordship understood that a procla- 
mation was about to issue on the subject of privateering, and 

* Russell to Lord Lyons, May 6, 1861. Claims of the U. S. against 
Great Britain, vol. iv, p,. 19. British Blue Book, "America," No. 3, 
p. 1. 


belligerent rights, and toped that in the proclamation an, 
emphatic warning would be given to seamen. Earl Granville, 
President of the Council, answered, that a proclamation was. 
about to issue, but declined to discuss it until issued. 

Mr. Forster, in the House of Commons, inquired whether 
it was not a criminal offense against the Foreign Enlistment 
Act for any subject of Her Majesty to serve on any privateer 
licensed by any person assuming to exercise power over a part 
of the United States, or for any person in Her Majesty's 
Dominions to assist in equipping such a privateer, and if so, 
whether Her Majesty's Government would take any steps to 
prevent infringement of the law, either by Her Majesty's 
subjects or by agents of the President of the Southern Con- 
federation, then in England. 

Sir George Lewis replied that it was in contemplation of 
Her Majesty's Government to issue a proclamation to cau- 
tion Her subjects against interfering in the war.* This de- 
cision was speedily carried out, and on the fourteenth of 
May, the Queen's Proclamation of Neutrality appeared in 
the Gazette, and all her subjects were warned not to enlist 
for land or sea service under the flag of either belligerent, 
not to supply munitions of war, fit oat ships for privateer- 
ing, or do any other act tending to give assistance to either 
belligerent. But it did far more than this. It led the way 
to like proclamations by the powers of Europe, made the 
Confederacy a belligerent power, and turned its cruisers from, 
vessels without a flag, to privateers and cruisers entitled to 
the rights of belligerents in all the ports of Great Britain and 
her colonies. 

The Earl of Ellenborough, in the House of Lords, found 
fault with the wording of the proclamation. The language 
was clear as to the law of England, but not clear as to the 
law of nations. Her Majesty's subjects were warned "not 
to break any blockade lawfully and actually established by 
either belligerent." The words, he thought, should be ac- 
tually established and lawfully maintained. Contraband of 
war comprised "arms, military stores, or materials, or any 

* Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, 3 Series, vol. clxii, p. 1763, May 
9. 1861. ' 


articles contraband of war." How was a plain man to 
know what articles were contraband? He would have to 
be familiar with the prize court decisions for years past. 

Lord Granville explained that a "blockade to be lawfully 
and actually established must be declared in proper form, and 
the State declaring it must have on the spot such a force as 
would make it dangerous for vessels to go in, or come out of, 
the blockaded port. Certain articles were clearly contraband 
of war. The character of others was dependable on circum- 
stances, as ports for which they were destined, and could only 
be determined by private courts. 

Lord Derby thought there were two points on which Her 
Majesty's Government should speedily come to an under- 
standing with the United States. The first was as to block- 
ades. The United States, it was said, intended to blockade 
all the Southern ports. To do this would not be in her 
power had she three times her present navy. A few ports 
might be closed, but the United States should be given to 
understand that a paper blockade, a blockade extending over 
a coast to which it was physically impossible that an effective 
blockade could be applied, would not be recognized as valid 
by Great Britain. 

The other point was privateering. * The Northern States 
must not be allowed to think they could so strain the law of 
nations as to convert privateering into piracy, and visit it 
with death. It was said the Northern States treated the 
Southern Confederacy not as having belligerent rights, but 
as rebels. Her Majesty's Government did not admit this- 
because it had declared the Southern States entitled to the 
rights of belligerents. The Northern States could not claim 
the rights of belligerents for themselves and treat the South- 
ern States as rebels. 

The Lord Chancellor said Lord Granville had laid down, 
the law on the point at issue with perfect correctness. If, 
after publication of the proclamation, a British subject were 
to enter into the service of either belligerent, on the other 
side of the Atlantic, there could be no doubt that he would 
be liable to punishment for a violation of the law of his own 
country, and would have no right to claim any interference 


on the part of his Government to shield him from any 
consequences that might ensue. But there could be no 
doubt that he ought not to be regarded as a pirate for acting 
under a commission from a State admitted to be entitled to 
belligerent rights and carrying on what might be called a 
justum 'helium. * 

When, on June sixth, Mr. Crawford asked Mr. Gregory 
whether it was his intention to bring on his motion with refer- 
ence to a recognition of the Southern Confederacy to-morrow, 
and whether the Foreign Secretary thought it desirable that 
it be discussed, Mr. Gregory said he did. Lord Russell there- 
upon stated that he did not think a discussion desirable, but 
having asked postponement on several occasions could make 
no further objection. The House was so manifestly opposed 
to a discussion that, on June seventh, Mr. Gregory postponed 
his motion sine die. 

To Eussell the Queen's Proclamation was a necessary 
act. Davis had issued letters of marque, and in a little 
while privateers would be roaming the sea and must be 
treated as pirates or recognized as belligerents. Lincoln had 
declared a blockade of Southern ports. These were acts of 
war and must be treated as such. "It is not our practice," 
he said, "to treat five millions of freemen as pirates, and 
to hang their sailors if they stop our merchantmen. But 
unless we meant to treat them as pirates and to hang them 
we could not deny them belligerent rights. This is what you 
and we did in the case of the South American Colonies of 
Spain. Tour own President and Courts of Law decided this 
question in the case of ^Venezxielzi." -j- 

On the day on which the Queen's Proclamation was made 
public Charles Francis Adams, the new Minister from the 
"United States to the Court of St. James, reached London. 
His coming was known to Lord Eussell. Indeed, Mr. Dallas, 
the retiring Minister, had arranged for the first interview. 
Courtesy should have led Eussell to defer publication until 

* Hansard Parliamentary Debates, May 16, 1861, vol. chtii, pp. 2077- 

f Russell to Everett, July 12, 1861. C. F. Adams, Massachusetts 
Historical Society Proceedings, vol. xlv, p. 77. 



after Adams had arrived and been heard on a matter of such 
great importance to his country. But the proclamation was 
out and Adams was forced to confine himself to what was 
little more than idle comment. He objected to the words 
justum lellum used in a speech in Parliament. Action, he 
thought, had been taken a little more rapidly than circum- 
stances required. The new Administration in the United 
States had found a great insurrection well under way, and all 
departments of government demoralized. Yet, before it had 
time to restore order, before it had time to develop a policy, 
when it had been but a little more than sixty days in power, 
Great Britain had taken the initiative and decided there were 
two sides to the struggle. She had declared the insurgents 
to be a belligerent Power before they had even shown their 
capacity to maintain any kind of warfare whatever. She had 
considered them a maritime Power before they had a single 
privateer at sea. 

Eussell replied that the United States had taken similar 
action quite as early and cited the case of Kossuth and Hun- 
gary. A necessity seemed to exist to define the course of the 
Government in regard to the participation of Her Majest/s 
subjects in the coming conflict. To this end the legal ques- 
tions involved had been referred to those most conversant 
with them and their advice taken. They decided that "as 
a question merely of fact, a war existed." Seven States 
covering a wide extent of country were in open resistance. 
In many previous cases far less formidable demonstrations 
had been recognized. Under the circumstances it seemed 
scarcely possible to avoid speaking of the contest, in a techni- 
cal sense, as justum helium,, a war of two sides. This was all 
that was intended by the Queen's Proclamation. It was to 
show the purport of existing laws, and explain to British 
subjects their liabilities if they took part in the war. * 

Seward objected because the Proclamation had been issued 
the very day Adams reached London, though his arrival had 
been anticipated and his reception by Russell arranged ; and 
because it seemed in a vague way to recognize, and did xecog- 

* Adams to Seward, May 21, 1861. Senate Executive Documents. 
37th Congress, 2nd Session, vol. i, pp. 92, 93. 



nize, the insurgents as a belligerent national Power.* The 
question, of tlie privateers, he said, "is exclusively our own. 
We treat them as pirates. They are our own citizens preying 
on the commerce of our country." f But he would make no 
protest, because Adams was fully able to present the general 
views of his Government on the matter, and because Thou- 
venel had announced that communications setting forth the 
attitude to be taken by France and Great Britain in regard 
to the insurrection would soon be addressed to the United 
States. $ 

ISTews of the indignation of the Worth aroused by the 
Proclamation, Adams wrote, was not without effect on public 
opinion in England. Men of all classes united in declaring 
that such a measure was unavoidable, and were equally 
united in declaring it was no evidence of ill will. They 
thought the complaints of the ISTorth unreasonable, and were 
profound in expression of sympathy. But the idea was 
still held that there would never be any actual conflict ; that 
the Union might be cemented on the basis of measures hostile 
to Great Britain. 

The delusion that there would be no fighting was dispelled 
one day early in August when the steamers brought accounts- 
of the defeat at Bull Run. In England the news was read 
with regret, for it seemed to foretell a long and bloody war, 
and the ruin of her cotton trade. We wish we could see in 
the battle, it was said, something on which we could con- 
gratulate either the victor or the vanquished. We wish we 
could see in it the probable cause of early peace. We can' 
see in it nothing but what must inflame the evil passions of 
both combatants. [] 

The Southerners will now accept nothing more nor less 
than independence and the acknowledgment of their right 
to secede. The war may drag on for years, but this must be 

* Seward to Adams, May 21, 1861. Senate Executive Documents, 37th 
Congress, 2nd Session, vol. i, p. 97. 
t Ibid., p. 89. 

$ Ibid., June 3, 1861, pp. 97, 98. 
Adams to Seward, June 21, 1861. Ibid., p, 110. 
([ London Times, August 5, 1861. 


the result at last. Let us not be diverted from our en- 
deavors to get cotton from our dependencies "by the idle tope 
that the American War will soon be over. Let it not be 
said the Northerners fight for the abolition of slavery, for 
they do not. Slavery is doomed, but it is not to fall by 
Northern arms." 3 *" Defeat of the North shuts the door to com- 
promise. The Union is bound to conquer now. The spirit 
of New England and the North will rise to the occasion, and 
we of the old race shall not be surprised if our kinsmen never 
rest until they have turned defeat into victory, f A drawn 
battle would have made pacific results possible. Had the 
North triumphed, the South might have been brought to invite 
an arrangement. As it is, the war must go on. The North 
must persevere to the end and the end must be the utter 
destruction of the Union, or complete consolidation. $ 

The crash of a new political world, said the London Times, 
is an awful phenomenon. "War has dashed lite a comet upon 
the great American Republic, and all the institutions and 
destinies of that mighty Union seem scattered in frag- 
ments around. It is impossible to predict the formations 
which may survive after the convulsion has passed away, 
but all that we now see tends irresistibly to convince one 
that we shall never again behold that specimen of political 
organization which so amazed us with its growth, and im- 
pressed us with its apparent vigor. The United States of 
North America has ceased to be. The conquest of the South 
by the North has now become a most improbable event. All 
the incidents of the war appear to have been in favor of 
the Confederate States. Every day detracts from the chances 
of compromise except on a basis of a recognized separation. 

We are disposed to think that the period of Union had 
reached its limit, and that the States of the overgrown Con- 
federacy could not have been long kept together. Indeed, 
the experiment which has broken down was a hopeless one 
from the beginning. No such mighty federation of people as 

* Liverpool Courier, August 5, 1861. 
t London News, August 6, 1861. 
$ Liverpool Post, August 22, 1861. 
London Times, September 4, 1861. 


the American Union lias ever yet been kept together. Indeed 
it may be said that for twenty years the Union has been' 
gradually breaking up. The least quarrel between parties in 
America was sufficient to bring a threat of secession into the 
mouths of one of them. Separation, in one way or the other, 
must soon have come to pass. Thirty large and powerful 
States, some of them equivalent to so many European King- 
doms, with various and conflicting interests and pursuits, 
were not to be held by the bounds of an artificial Confederacy. 
Instead of giving and taking for the common good, they look 
at things from a lower ground, believe they understand their 
own interests best, and could do better alone. Then comes 
divorce, or subjugation. One of these results will happen in; 
the case before us. We cannot think it will be subjugation. 
There will then be an end of the Great American Kepublic, 
and it will be made clear that no advantage of geographical 
position, or novelty of political institutions, can save a people 
from the operation of natural laws.* 

A little later, in a reply to an article in the Atlantic 
Monthly ; "Why has the North felt aggrieved at England ?" 
the Times restated its belief. We do believe, it said, and 
shall continue to do so, that the secession of the South has* 
destroyed the Federal Union and that, let the victory be with 
whichever side it may, reconstruction on the old basis is 
impossible; that the contest on the side of the North is for 
empire, and on the side of the South for independence, and 
that in this respect we see a close analogy between the North 
and the Government of George III; and the South and the 
Thirteen Revolted Colonies, f 

Bulwer Lytton, speaking at a meeting of the Herts Agri- 
cultural Society, said he did not understand how any far- 
thinking statesmen could conceive that a fourth part of the 
earth could long be held under one imperial form of govern- 
ment The separation between North and South America, 
which was then being brought about by civil war, he had 
long foreseen and foretold to be inevitable, and he ventured) 
to predict that the younger men there present would live to 

* London Times, September 19, 1861. 
t Ibid., November 7, 1861. 



see not two, but at least four, and probably more than four 
separate and sovereign commonwealths rising out of those 
populations which, a year ago, united their legislature under 
one President, and carried their merchandise under one 

Mr. Lindsay told his constituents that, as it would be some 
time before cotton could be got elsewhere, it was the duty 
of the Government to seek to induce the Federal Govern- 
ment, in the cause of humanity, to lift the blockade. Con- 
sidering the bold stand made by the Confederates and the 
strength of the South, it was almost time that England and 
France thought of recognizing the independence of so nu- 
merous a body of people. The United States was not sin- 
cerely anxious to abolish slavery.* Premature recognition 
would be unjust and inexpedient, the Post maintained; but 
the course of events was forcing such action on foreign 
Governments. Wise and timely compromise and amicable 
renewal of political and commercial relations ought to be 
the policy of the United States.f The Eecorder of Bir- 
mingham, in a speech, held that the declaration of the will 
of the Southern States to secede carried its own justification. 
To talk of rebellion and treason was to repeat the folly of 
the Government against which those very Northern States 
rebelled in 1776. Where was the tribunal before which 
six million people could be brought? Where the dock to 
hold them, the jury intelligent enough to try them, the mor- 
tal presumptuous enough to act as their judge ? $ 

Lord Palmerston wrote Russell that, as to North America, 
"our best and true policy seems to be to go on as we have 
been doing and keep quite clear of the conflict between North 
and South. It is true, as you say, there have been cases in 
Europe in which the Allied Powers have said to the fighting 
parties, like the man in the Critic, 'In the Queen's name I 
bid you drop your swords/ but those cases have "been rare 
and peculiar. ... I quite agree with you that the want of 
cotton would not justify such a proceeding unless, indeed, the. 

* London Times, October 4, 1861. 

f London Post, October 5, 1861. 

| Manchester Guardian, October 26, 1861. 


distress created by the want was far more serious than it is 
likely to be." * 

The Assistant Secretary of our Legation in London wrote 
in Ms diary that the defeat at Bull Eun would injure the 
North in Europe. "England's inherent hate of us is being 
expressed unmistakably to-day in sneers and chuckling over 
our misfortune." The British Nation was secretly longing 
for the destruction of the Union and would be content to 
see slavery become a mighty power, if only the South ob- 
tained its independence, f 

To Disraeli "Jonathan" seemed, "in a pretty state; it's 
like the failure of some immense house; one can hardly 
realize the enormous results." It was a privilege to live in, 
such a pantomimic age of glittering illusions and startling 
surprises. $ 

Bright, in a long letter to Sumner, declared that public 
opinion was languid and confused. The upper classes had 
some satisfaction in our troubles. They thought two nations 
on our continent more easy to deal with than one. The 
middle class alone wished abolition might come out of the 
war, but were irritated by our "foolish tariff." He had 
seen no considerable manifestation of a disposition to urge 
the Government to interfere. Tet , some hoped that Francd 
and England would not permit their cotton manufactures 
to be starved out. Palmerston and Russell, in public, spoke 
in a friendly tone. He believed in the honest disposition of 
Russell, but did not like the movement of troops to Canada. 
"With our upper classes hostile to your country and Govern- 
ment, with the wonderful folly of your tariff telling against 
you here, and with the damage arising from the blockade," 
feeling was not so cordial as he wished. He could not see 

* Palmerston to Russell, October 18, 1861. Ashley, Life and Cor- 
respondence of Viscount Palmerston, vol. ii, p. 411. Russell had 
written October 17: "If we do anything it must be on a grand scale. 
It will not do for England and France to break a blockade for 
the sake of cotton/* Walpole, Life of Lord John Russell, vol. ii, p. 

fMoran's Diary, August 5, 1861, Library of Congress. 

$To Sir Stafford Northcote, September 12, 1861. Moneypenny and 
Buckle, Life of Disraeli, vol. iv, p. 328. 


how the South, with its vast territory, could be subdued. If 
subdued, he could not see in the future a contented section 
made up of the States then passing through the crisis of a 
civil war. He had no sympathy with the South. It sought 
to overthrow the most free Government, and the noblest 
Constitution the world had ever seen, and wished to decree 
the perpetual bondage of millions of human beings. But 
he dreaded the effect of the war on the ISTorth. Debt, taxes, 
an army, corruption which always grew when so much public 
money was being expended, were fearful things.* "There 
are two nations in England/' he wrote the American Consul 
in Liverpool, "the governing class and the millions who toil. 
The former dislike your Republic and their organs misrepre- 
sent and slander it. The latter have no ill-feeling towards 
you, but are not altogether unaffected by the statements made 
to your prejudice, f In a speech at Rochedale, a speech 
made when all England was seething with excitement over 
the Trent affair, he said: "Whether the Union will be re- 
stored or not, or the South achieve an unhonored inde- 
pendence or not, I know not, and I predict not. But this I 
think I know, that in a few years, a very few years, the 
twenty million of freemen in the North will be thirty million, 
or even fifty million, a population equal to, or exceeding, 
that of this kingdom. When that time comes, T pray that it 
may not be said amongst them that in the dark hour of their 
country's trial, England, the land of their fathers, looked on 
with icy coldness and saw unmoved the perils and calamities 
of their children. As for me, I have but this to say. I am 
but one in this audience, and but one in the citizenship of 
this country; but, if all other tongues are silent mine shall 
speak for that policy which gives hope to the bondsmen of 
the South, and which tends to generous thoughts, generous 
words, and generous deeds between the two great nations 
who speak the English language and from their origin are 
alike entitled to the English name. $ 

* Bright to Sunmer, September 6, 1861. Trevelyan, Life of John 
Bright, pp. 310-311. 

f Bright to Thomaa H. Dudley, December 9, 1861. Dudley MSS. 
i December 4, 1861. Trevelyan, Life of John Bright, p. 313. 




THE outbreak of war, the proclamations of Lincoln laying 
the coast from Maryland to the Bio Grande under blockade, 
the proclamation of Davis inviting applications for letters of 
marque and reprisal, brought consternation to the hearts of 
merchants in every commercial city in the North. All who 
were concerned with ships and shipping, all who traded in 
Southern waters, all who took risks on ships and cargoes, 
steamship companies, merchants, bankers, underwriters, 
made haste to seek protection by the Federal Government. 
The president of the Atlantic and Pacific Steamship Com- 
pany, whose vessels brought specie from Aspinwall to New 
York, begged for a good swivel gun for each ship, and for a 
hundred muskets. In the hands of such men as traveled by 
his line they would afford ample protection against pirates 
and privateers. Nineteen insurance companies in New York 
entreated the Secretary of the Navy to take immediate 
steps to protect American commerce in Southern waters." 3 *" 
Twenty-five firms, merchants and bankers in New York 
asked that the California steamers carrying forty million 
dollars' worth of gold annually from San Francisco be pro- 
vided with two guns each and a proper number of artillery- 
men. A petition signed by thirty-six firms expressed the 
belief that Spaniards and other foreigners who would soon 
be in possession of letters of marque granted by the Con- 
federate States, would seize the California steamers carrying 
treasure, and urged that convoys be furnished from San 
Francisco to Panama, and from Aspinwall to New Yorkf 

* Official Records, Union and Confederate Navies, Series 1, vol. i, 
p. 9. 
tlbid., pp. 11-12. 


The president of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company 
heard that parties on the Pacific Coast had purchased and 
armed a steamer and desired that the ships of his company 
be protected in entering and leaving San Francisco, Aca~ 
pulco, Panama, Aspinwall and while passing through the 
waters of the West Indies.* Flag-Officer Montgomery was 
accordingly ordered to give the necessary protection, f 
Governor Olden of New Jersey wrote the President that 
citizens living in the southwestern part of the State and on 
Delaware Bay felt some anxiety because of their defenseless 
condition and exposure to privateers and sent two gentlemen 
to confer with him. $ Underwriters and merchants of Bos- 
ton petitioned for an armed steamer to be stationed in Vine- 
yard Sound to protect the fifty thousand vessels that passed 
through each year. 

"Welles was doing the best he could. Blockade of the coast 
from Hampton Roads to Key West was assigned to the 
Atlantic Blockading Squadron under command of Flag- 
Officer Stringham. The Gulf Squadron under Flag-Officer 
William Marvin was to close the ports from Key West to 
the Eio Grande; but the Atlantic Squadron was soon cut 
into two, the Northern and the Southern. The one, operating 
from Maryland to South Carolina, was commanded by Flag- 
Officer Goldsborough. The other watching the coast from 
South Carolina to Key West was under the command of 
Flag-Officer Samuel F. DuPont For the great task thus laid 
out, the navy was ill prepared. But forty-two vessels., tenders 
and storeships were in commission. Four were at Pensacola, 
six in Northern ports, one on the Great Lakes. The rest 
were scattered over the face of the globe, in East Indies, 
in the Mediterranean Sea, off the African coast, off the 
coast of Brazil, at Vera Cruz, in the Pacific, on the way 
home from Japan. Twenty-seven frigates, sloops, brigs and 
schooners were not in commission. Twenty-one were unfit 
for service. 

With such as were available the work of blockading was 
begun, and with all possible speed attempts were made to 

* Bid., p. 14. f Ibid., p. 15. $ Ibid., p. 19. 


close tine chief commercial cities of the South. Charleston 
and Savannah, Mobile and New Orleans were blockaded in 
May; but July came before an armed vessel appeared off 
Galveston and the month was nearly gone before a steamer 
toot her station at the month of Cape Pear River and closed 
the port of Wilmington. 

Nearly a score of rebel cruisers were then at sea. 

Instructions issued by Toombs defined for them the words, 
<c high seas/ 5 bade them pay strict attention to the rights of 
neutrals, and act towards the enemy with all justice and 
humanity. Captured vessels with one or more principal per- 
sons were to be sent before the proper Court in some Con- 
federate port for examination. Property of the enemy in 
neutral ships was exempt unless contraband of war. Dis- 
patches of the enemy, or military persons on neutral ships, 
were liable to capture; but this did not apply to neutral 
vessels bearing dispatches from public ministers or ambassa- 
dors in neutral ports. 

First to receive a commission was the Savannah. She 
sailed from Charleston one June day, fell in with and cap- 
tured a brig twenty-four hours later and by dark was herself 
the prize of the United States brig Perry. As the Perry 
was then on her way to Fernandina the prize and her crew 
were turned over to Flag-Officer Stringham, who sent the 
Savannah to New York, where her arrival caused no little 
excitement. Crowds went to the Battery to see her as she lay 
at anchor with the Confederate flag flying underneath the 
Stars and Stripes, and boatmen turned a pretty penny rowing* 
sightseers around the "pirate." Later in the month the 
Harriet Lane brought the crew. They were in irons ; were 
delivered to the Marshal and committed to the Tombs as 
men charged with piracy on the high seas.* 

And now arose the question would the Court make good 
the threat of Lincoln's proclamation, and, were the men 
found guilty, order them hanged as pirates ? And if they 
were, what would the Confederate Government do? A 
Charleston newspaper declared that in spite of all its ex- 

*New York Herald, June 16, 17, 20, 21, 23, 26, 1861. 


perience of the treachery and cruelty of Lincoln and Ms 
despotic horde of underlings and satraps, it did not believe 
the men would "be hanged. If so, then every citizen of a 
Lincoln State that fell into Southern hands would be a sub- 
ject of retaliation. "We can erect the gallows or the gibbet 
as well as others. ?? * 

Far more serious was the threat of Davis made in a letter 
to Lincoln in July. Having heard of the capture of the 
Savannah he ordered that an offer be made to the officer 
commanding the squadron blockading Charleston for an ex- 
change of prisoners for the officers and crew of the privateer 
and was told that the men were not on board any of the 
ships. It now appears, said he, that they are in New York, 
not as prisoners of war, but as criminals, and in irons, and 
before the Court charged with piracy. Such newspaper 
statements would not have been made the subject of com- 
munication had not the proclamation of April contained a 
threat to treat the privateersmen of the Confederacy as 
pirates. Should they be executed he would retaliate as far 
as necessary to secure the abandonment of practices unknown 
in the warfare of Christian nations, f 

The sea now swarmed with Confederate privateers. From 
Wilmington, from Charleston, from Jfew Orleans they came 
forth in such numbers that by the middle of July a score 
were roving the Atlantic in search of merchant ships. One, 
the old slaver Echo, $ refitted and named Jeff Davis, sailed 
from Charleston. 

When some two hundred and fifty miles southeast of the 
IsTantueiet South Shoals she fell in with a fine merchantman 1 
called the Enchantress and made her a prize. Walter W. 
Smith was put aboard as prize master and four sailors from 
the Jeff Davis as the prize crew and the vessel ordered to 
Charleston. Eben Lane was navigator and so sailed the ship 
that, although one of the fastest out of New England and 
captured on the sixth of July, she had gone south but two 
hundred and fifty miles when, July twenty-second she was 

* Charleston Mercury, June 12, 1861. 

t Davis to Lincoln, July 6, 1861, New York Herald, July 30, 1861. 

$ History of the People of the United States, vol. viii, p. 348. 


captured "by the United States ship Albatross. Lane sailed 
south, by day and north by night. The crew were taken first 
to Hampton Roads and then to Philadelphia, where they were 
tried in the Circuit Court for piracy. Smith and three of the 
prize crew were found guilty. Lane, because of his action 
in keeping the ship at sea in hopes that she might be cap- 
tured, was found not guilty. 

"While these trials were under way at Philadelphia Captain 
Thomas Harrison Baker and twelve of the crew of the 
Savannah were tried at New York. At the end of eight days 
the jury disagreed. Jefferson Davis now made ready to 
carry out his threat and on November ninth Attorney-General 
Benjamin instructed General Winder to select by lot from 
the prisoners of highest rank taken at Bull Run, one to be 
confined in a cell, treated as a convicted felon and executed 
in the same manner as the Union Government might execute 
the prisoner of war Smith, lately condemned to death in 
Philadelphia, and thirteen to be confined in cells as felons 
so long as the enemy should so treat the like number of 
prisoners taken from the Savannah and held as pirates at 
New York.* Should one drop of Southern blood be shed 
by the Northern courts for defending the South on the Seas, 
it will be paid with interest in Charleston, said the 
Mercury, f 

The blockade having been established in force as well as 
the ships at hand would permit, and the privateers having 
been nearly all swept from the sea, the Secretary of the 
Navy turned to the third part of his program which called 
for combined naval and military expeditions to attack points 
along the coast. From near Cape Henry to below Cape 
Hatteras the coast proper is bordered by a long, low, narrow 
strip of sand which parts the waters of the Atlantic from 
those of Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. Numerous inlets 
pierce this sand beach; but few are navigable. Some are 
closed for years until opened by a storm of great severity. 
Some are so shallow that none but vessels of the lightest 

*New York Herald, November 0, 14, 18, 1861; Norfolk Day Book, 
November 12, 1861. 
f Charleston Mercury, November 10, 1861. 


draft can use them. Only two, Hatteras Inlet and Oeracoke 
Inlet, are deep enough to admit the passage of vessels of 
considerable tonnage. Hatteras was the deeper and was 
found most convenient for the carriage of supplies to the 
Confederate army in Virginia and for the use of privateers 
and their prizes. Such was the importance of the inlet that 
no sooner was the Gosport ISTavy Yard in Confederate hands' 
than guns of large caliber were carried thither and Fort 
Clark, on the ocean side, and Fort Hatteras, on the Sound 
side, were built to defend it. To attack these works there 
sailed from Hampton Boads, late in August, a motley fleet 
of ferryboats, gunboats, schooners, frigates and transports 
carrying eight hundred and fifty troops. Each transport 
towed a dismasted schooner on which was a flatboat for land- 
ing troops and each gunboat a huge iron surfboat large 
enough to hold a company. 

A voyage of two days brought the squadron off the inlet 
The frigates opened fire on Fort Clark, a landing place was 
chosen some three miles away, the schooners were anchored 
as near shore as was safe and several hundred troops on the 
flatboats and in the surfboats set off for the beach. But the 
surf xan high. Both flatboats were stove and the surfboats 
were tossed high up on the beach, whence they could not 
be moved. A cutter from a gunboat made a landing; but 
on a return trip was swamped in the surf. ~No further at- 
tempts were made and the men on shore were left without 
food to shift for themselves. A scouting party having re- 
ported Fort Clark abandoned, the troops entered it, and 
raised a flag ; but, mistaken for the enemy, they were at once 
shelled by the ships and retreated to the landing place. There 
they passed an anxious night. In the morning the attack on 
Fort Hatteras, begun the previous afternoon, was renewed 
by the ships and kept up until a white flag announced 

Port Royal came nest. During two months preparations 
had been under way and by the close of October the squad- 
ron, composed of war vessels, chartered vessels, ferryboats, 
coal schooners, transports for twelve thousand men and an 
unseaworthy steamship carrying six hundred marines, was 


assembled in Hampton Roads. Flag-Officer DuPont com- 
manded the naval contingent ; General Thomas W. Sherman 
the troops. October twenty-ninth, the coal schooners having 
gone on before, the vessels of war and the transports put to 
sea, ran into a gale just after passing Cape Hatteras and suf- 
fered losses. A transport loaded with stores went down ; the 
steamer with the marines foundered and seven lives were 
lost. The commander of one of the chartered vessels was 
forced to throw overboard all her battery save one gun. Three 
transports with stores, but carrying no troops, never reached 
Port Eoyal and another was so badly damaged that it never 
left Port Eoyal. 

What remained of the squadron arrived off the Port with- 
out further mishap and found the entrance defended on the 
right by Fort Beauregard on Bay Point, and on the left by 
Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island. The attack began on 
the morning of November seventh and before sunset Fort 
Walker was in Union hands and Fort Beauregard abandoned. 
Both were turned over to the army. The victory took from 
the Confederates one of the finest harbors on the Atlantic 
Coast, gave to the Union Navy a base for future operations 
and made it possible to greatly increase the effectiveness of 
the blockade. Beaufort, when visited a few days later, was 
found deserted by its white inhabitants. 

The plan of the Confederate Secretary of the Navy, Mal- 
lory, called for vessels of three classes: those suitable for* 
defense of the bays, harbors, rivers, inlets and sounds along* 
the coast ; heavily armed ironclad ships of war to sweep away/ 
blockaders, destroy, perhaps, the entire navy of the United 
States, defy the defenses of the great seaports of the North 
and lay them under contribution; and what he claimed was 
new in naval warfare, the cruising commerce destroyer. To 
build heavily armed ironclad ships at home was impossible, 
for nowhere in the Confederacy could Mallory find a mill 
capable of rolling armor plate two inches thick,* nor could 
he find in all its ports more than two wooden vessels fit for 
cruisers. England was his only hope. To England, there- 

* Official Records, Navies, Series 2, vol. ii, pp. 72, 73. 


fore, he turned, and having secured from Congress a grant 
of one million dollars for commerce destroyers and two 
millions for ironclad ships,* dispatched two agents to pro- 
cure them as speedily as possible. James D. Bulloch was to 
buy if he could, build if he must, six stern propellers, not 
too large, light of draft, very speedy, able to make long 
cruises and armed with at least one heavy pivot gun and 
two or more of smaller caliber, broadside. They were to 
be paid for in Confederate bonds when delivered, under 
the British flag, in any Southern port; but the Government 
must not appear in the matter and all contracts must be 
made through some well-known commercial house in Eng- 
land. Bulloch was also to buy, at once, carbines, cutlasses, 
navy pistols, fixed ammunition, cannon and musket powder, 
clothing of every sort, shoes and red, white and blue 
bunting, f 

To Lieutenant James H. North was assigned the task of 
procuring two ironclads of the type of the great French 
frigate La Gloire, "the most formidable ship afloat." France 
was well disposed towards the South. Indeed, at an early 
day she might recognize the independence of the Confederacy, 
and as the lifting of the blockade of the cotton ports con- 
cerned her greatly, she might be willing to sell a frigate of 
the class of La Gloire or permit such a vessel to be constructed 
at one of her dock yards. The other should be built in Great 

Bulloch had not been long in England before he per- 
ceived that it was almost impossible to carry out his instruc- 
tions. l!To purchase, no contract could be made save with 
cash in hand, nor would any great gun factory enter Into 
a contract save on long time. He must employ commission 
houses to contract for sea rifles with small concerns in Bir- 
mingham and elsewhere; and the Queen's Proclamation! 
raised a barrier against shipments to Southern ports. Eng- 
lish ship owners, partly through patriotism, partly through 
fear, refused to take anything contraband as freight. Wood, 

* Official Records, Navies, Series 2, vol. ii, pp. 66, 67. 
f Ibid., pp. 64, 65. 
$ Ibid., pp. 70, 71. 


as material for ships, had gone out of use in the British mer- 
chant service. He could find no wooden vessels fit for crui- 
sers, and their iron ships were too thin in the plates for war 

Driven to "building, Bulloeh contracted with two Liver- 
pool shipbuilders for two light cruisers. Payment for one, 
known on the stocks as the Orelo, was guaranteed by Frazer, 
Trenholm & Co. The other known as "290," was not begum 
until money was remitted, for the Lairds, who built her, 
would not depart from the usual custom.f 

To bring over the guns and munitions bought by Bulloeh, 
Secretary Mallory dispatched a vessel in July. Arms and 
powder, he wrote, are of the first importance and I send 
her over to obtain a supply if practicable. Buy, if you can, 
ten thousand Enfield rifles at once, regardless of price, and 
if she will carry more, send more, and two hundred tons of 
powder to be shipped in a British vessel to Nassau consigned 
to Mr. Henry Adderly, commission merchant. The best 
way to bring arms into our States is to ship them to Nassau. 
We can have an agent there who will send a few thousand 
at a time in small Bahama wreckers that should clear for 
Vera Cruz or other ports along the Gulf of Mexico and run 
into any of the inlets of Louisiana or Texas. $ Frazer, 
Trenholm & Co. of Liverpool, financial agents for the Con- 
federacy, procured a fast steamer, the Bermuda, sent her to 
West Hartlepool, a port on the east coast of England, and 
loaded her with powder, and with guns packed in crates sucH 
as were used for earthenware, carried thither in secrecy and 
by circuitous routes. Aware of this the Vice-Consul at 
Liverpool notified Adams and warned S'eward. Adams 
complained to Russell. A new steamer, the Bermuda, fitted 
out by Frazer, Trenholm & Co., he wrote, was at West 
Hartlepool ready for sea, carried four guns, had been taking 
on board crates, cases and barrels believed to contain arms 
and was nominally entered for Havana, a place to which he 
did not believe she was going. He asked, therefore, a 

* Official Becords, ISTavies, Series 2, vol. ii, pp. 83, 85. 
f Ibid., p. 85. 
bid., pp. 81, 82. 


prompt investigation. * Enssell answered that lie had re- 
ferred the matter to the law officers of the Crown, who ad- 
vised there was not enough evidence to warrant interference. 
The Act 59 George II applied to equipment of vessels to be 
used as transports or cruisers and not at all to the nature 
of the cargo. Clearly, the Bermuda was not for war pur- 
poses, f Meantime she sailed, ran the blockade at Savannah 
and delivered her precious cargo. 

So great were the purchases made by Bulloch for the navy 
and by Major Caleb Huse for the army that they pooled their 
funds, bought the Fingal and sent her to Savannah. She, 
too, ran the blockade and delivered more than eleven thou- 
sand Enfield rifles, more than twenty-four thousand pounds 
of powder, more than half a million percussion caps, four 
hundred thousand cartridges, four pieces of ordnance and 
drugs, clothes, swords, sabers and shells. $ But so close was 
the blockade of Savannah that she could not escape and in 
time became the Confederate ram Atlanta. 

Vigilant as were the blockaders, it was not always possible 
to catch a runner of great speed whose captain was willing 
to take desperate risks. So many broke through, that, in 
hope of putting an end to their entrance and escape, Welles 
decided to sink vessels in the channels of harbors leading to 
ports they most frequented. G-ustavus V. Fox suggested it 
early in the war, Welles approved and referred the plan to 
a Board which advised that Oregon, Hatteras and Ocraeoke 
Inlets on the coast of North Carolina be blocked by sinking 
on the inner bars old hulks loaded with stone, and Com- 
mander Stellwagon was sent to Baltimore to purchase suit- 
able vessels. || The Commander thought little of the plan. 
The tides in the Sound would make new channels around 
the sunken ships. Hulks and all obstructions would disap- 
pear in thirty days. Nevertheless, the vessels were procured 

* Claims of the United States against Great Britain, vol. i, pp. 759, 
761, August 15, 1861. Moran's Diary, August 14, 15, 16, 1861, Li- 
brary of Congress. 

flbid., p. 762, August 22, 1861. Moran's Diary, August 23, 1861. 

$ Official Records, Navies, Series 1 3 vol. xii, p. 331. 

Ibid., p. 200. 

|| Ibid., vol. vi, p. 50. 


and brought to Hampton Koads, whence eight were towed 
to the coast to be sunk in Oregon, Hatteras and Ocracoke 
Inlets and close the entrances to Pamlico Sound.* To do 
this was again declared impossible by Commander Stell- 
wagon; but Groldsborough was sure that Ocracoke Inlet could 
be closed and Commander Reed Warden was sent to make 
the attempt. He, too, protested and asked to be relieved of 
the duty, but was told that the orders from the Department 
must be obeyed and in ISTovember three stone-laden hulks 
chained bow and stern were sunk in the inlet, f 

It was not the intention of Welles to confine this form of 
obstruction to the little inlets along the coast. It was to be 
applied to the great ports and, that it might be, orders went' 
forth for the purchase of twenty-five hulks to be sunk on the 
bar at Savannah and for twenty to be sunk in the channels 
leading to Charleston harbor. $ Old whalers were accord- 
ingly bought at ISTew Bedford, ~N"ew London and ~N"antucket, 
stripped of everything valuable, loaded with stone and sent 
South. Sixteen of those which went to Savannah were 
brought to Charleston and sunk in the main channel some 
four miles southward of Sumter, and fourteen of the second 
stone fleet at the entrance to Ma.ffitt ? s Channel some six miles 
eastward of the fort. [| 

It is lawful, said a Richmond newspaper when it heard 
of the coming of the stone fleet, to seize drydocks, enemy's 
stores, ships, forts. It is lawful to blockade our ports. But 
we deny that it is the right of our enemy to destroy our ports 
if he can. That is an injury which outlasts wars ; an attack 
not only on our defenses, but on the patrimony of Nature 
in which all the world is concerned. Sinking masses of stone 
in our channels in hope of destroying them is diabolical. 
Civilized warfare tolerates no such spirit. We do not be- 
lieve Lincoln's scheme will succeed. The rivers and the 
ocean cannot be parted from each other. The currents and 

* Official Records, Navies, Series 1, vol. vi, pp. 64, 126, 256-257, 261, 
268, 279-281. 

t Ibid., vol. vi, pp. 315, 345, 378, 429. 

Jlbid., vol. xii, pp. 416, 417, 418, 419. 

Ibid., pp. 391, 420. 

|| Ibid., pp. 421, 422, 423, 424, 510, 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 552. 



the waves will force for themselves new channels. Lincoln 
as Satan's agent, will fail. But the intent and effort would 
stamp another badge of infamy on his brow were it not that 
the tablet is already full.* 

This achievement, said Lee when he heard of the sinking 
of the stone fleet, "so unworthy of any nation, is the abortive 
expression of the malice and revenge of a people which it 
wishes to perpetuate by rendering more memorable a day 
hateful in their calendar/' f 

Angry protests from the South were to be expected. But 
the indignation the sinking of the "stone fleet" aroused in 
England was not expected and was surprising. The port of 
Charleston, it was said, is ruined for all time. Its ruin is a 
crime against civilization. We, in common with the rest 
of the world, view with horror the attempt to deprive future 
generations of the blessings which K~ature has given them 
in the shape of harbors to protect them against a tempestuous 
ocean. Such acts are, indeed, acts of war, but acts of war 
against the whole human race, and by the intervention of 
those who represent the civilization of the whole human 
race should they be denounced. 

There are limits to the rights of destruction which even 
a nation at war may exercise. To conquer, not to destroy, 
is the Tight of a belligerent nation of civilized beings. Yet 
we are told that fleets have gone forth from 2sTew London 
and INTew Bedford l^den not with armed men, but with stones, 
and that these vessels scattered broadside have closed, for 
years to come, the entrances by sea to Charleston and 
Savannah. The object is to strangle these ports, not to pos- 
sess them. If true, it is an act of hostility to the whole 
human race. 

When known to be true, when known that the hulks had 
been sunk, not in a right line across the channel to Charles- 
ton harbor, but in three lines "checkerwise," that they might 
form a series of shoals around which the tide, it was hoped, 
would swirl and eddy, making navigation most difficult for 
blockade runners, the deed was denounced as infernal. "The 

* Richmond Enquirer, December 12, 1861. 
t Official Records, Series 1, vol. vi, p. 43. 


ferocity and vindictiveness," it was said, "which Lave be- 
come in the present generation part of the American char- 
acter, as shown by duels and assassinations and atrocities 
aboard ships that almost pass belief, are now in full play 
in this unhappy strife. If any one would know the character 
the war is assuming let him read of the destruction of the 
port of Charleston." Among all the crimes which have dis- 
graced mankind it would be hard to find one more atrocious. 
It was appalling to read that men reared under the influence 
of religion, morality and law, men who had practiced self- 
government, should perpetrate a crime from which bar- 
barians would shrink. Even the tribes of the desert would 
not destroy the well which gave life to an enemy. Yet here 
was a Christian Government ruthlessly destroying the prin- 
cipal harbor on a dangerous and stormy coast, choking up 
the outlet of a vast commerce, dooming one of the richest 
districts of the globe to ruin and cutting off millions of 
people from the ocean which washes their coast. "No bel- 
ligerent has a right to destroy the features of nature and 
deprive the mariner, for ages, of refuge from perils of the 
sea. During the war against IsTapoleon, Toulon and Brest 
and other ports of France were watched by British squad- 
rons, yet it never entered the minds of Nelson, Jervis, Col- 
lingwood to save themselves trouble by totally destroying 
the ports they were sent to watch.* 

To this it was answered that England had done such things. 
Did not Lord Hobart, in 1804, write the Comptroller of thes 
!N"avy that it was expedient to choke the entrance to the 
harbor of Boulogne and that he had the command of the 
King that preparation be at once made and funds provided 
for the purchase of ships and material, and was it not done ? 
On the evacuation of the port of Alexandria were not five 
vessels, loaded with stones, sunk in the narrow passage by 
which the squadron under command of Admiral Lewis came 
in and went out ? f During our second war with Great 
Britain, did not the British attempt to block the harbor 

* London Times, January 11, 1862. 

t G-ilignani's Messenger, January 7, 1862; Scott's Life of Napoleon, 
vol. ii, chapter 10. 


of Otter Creek by sinking beneath its waters several vessels 
loaded with, stone ? * 

So indignant were the members of the Shipowners' Asso- 
ciation of Liverpool that they addressed Lord Russell, called 
attention to the obstructions in the entrance to Charleston 
harbor, and asked the earnest consideration of the Govern- 
ment lest other ports be destroyed in the same manner. Lord 
Eussell replied that the attention of Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment was at once attracted by the rumors that such an act 
was to be done and that Lord Lyons was informed of its 
views. It was a cruel plan and seemed to imply despair of 
ever restoring the Union, for it never could be the wish of 
the American Government to destroy cities from which its 
own country was to derive riches and prosperity. Even as 
a scheme of embittered and sanguinary war it could not be 
justified. It was a plot against the commerce of all nations. 
Itfow that the project seemed to have been carried out Lord 
Lyons would receive instructions to protest again. In the 
letter to which Lord Russell referred in his reply to the ship- 
owners of Liverpool, he told Lord Lyons that he had it, on 
apparently good authority, that the purpose of the stone 
fleet was the destruction of the harbors forever, and that it 
showed the utter despair of restoration of the Union. It 
was a measure of revenge and irremediable injury against 
an enemy, and even as such was not justifiable. It was a 
plot against the commerce of nations and the free inter- 
course of the Southern States with the civilized world. It 
was a project worthy only of times of barbarism, f When 
spoken to on the subject by Lord Lyons, Seward answered 
that it was not the intention of the Government to block 
the port forever. It was a temporary military measure to 
aid the blockade, and it would be the duty of the Government 
to remove the obstructions as soon as the Union was restored. 
That would be a mere matter of expense* That the port was 
not even temporarily destroyed Lord Lyons could deduce 

* Cooper's Naval History, vol. ii, p. 34. 

t Russell to Lyons, December 20, 1861. Adams, Great Britain and 
tlie American Civil War, vol. i, p. 254. 


from the fact that a British vessel tad recently ran the block- 
ade.* All vessels loaded with stone to be used for the ob- 
struction of harbors had been sunk and it was not likely 
any others would be used for that purpose, f 

A fortnight later the Charleston Mercury reported that 
wreckage, spars and blocks and whatnot had, during the last 
few days been picked up in and near the harbor, and that it 
undoubtedly came from Lincoln's stone fleet which wind and 
waves were gradually breaking to pieces. 

Tancey and Mann wrote home that the prevailing, and 
undoubtedly the correct, opinion in Paris was that France 
and Grreat Britain had remonstrated in strong terms and 
had protested against the sinking of the stone fleet in the 
main channel of Charleston harbor and that they would 
directly interfere in some way. $ The French journals con- 
demned the stone fleet blockade. Pays called it an act of 
vandalism and barbarity; the Moniteur an act of inhuman 
and barbarous revenge. Dayton, the American Minister, 
wrote from Paris that the effect of the blockade, the perma- 
nent destruction of the harbor of Charleston and the hope- 
lessness of our cause, taken for granted and impressed on 
the public mind by the English press, had done us much 
harm in France. There could be no doubt that the French 
Government was seriously considering the blockade and the 
attempt to permanently block Charleston harbor. During 
an interview with the French Minister the stone fleet and 
the supposed permanent destruction of the harbor were men- 
tioned. Thouvenel asked for an explanation of that pro- 
ceeding, and said it had made, over all Europe, an impression 
most unfavorable to us. Dayton answered that as yet the 
only information concerning it came through newspapers; 
that the Government had never declared its intention to 
destroy the port, and the temporary obstruction of one chan- 
nel was all that was sought. Had no stones been placed in 
the hulks to keep them down we might as well have thrown 
chips into the sea. The very next gale would have swept 

* Lyons to Russell, January 27, 1862. 

f Ibid., February 11, 1862. 

$ Yancey and Mann to Hunter, January 27, 1862. Pickett Papers. 


them from tlieir positions.* Seward replied that no Amer- 
ican ever supposed tlie Iraman hand could place obstructions 
in a river -which, the same hand could not remove. He was 
surprised to hear that putting temporary obstructions in the 
channel leading to Charleston was regarded in Europe as an 
act of peculiar and ruthless severity, f Seward had scarcely 
written his letter when Mercier called bringing a long note 
from Thouvenel much in the form of a protest. It would be 
vain, he was to say to Seward, to attempt to pretend that 
the closing, by such unwonted means, of ports already under 
blockade, would not effect the general interests of trade past 
all remedy ; that it would be not only an injury to the enemy, 
but to all neutrals. It would, in fact, bar them, not momen- 
tarily and during the war, but permanently and after peace, 
from access to a coast where they ought to expect to find a 
port of refuge. Thouvenel was forced to regard the stone 
blockade as an abusive extension of the rights which inter- 
national usage recognized as belonging to a belligerent He 
did not hesitate to say that this opinion would certainly 
be that of all Governments which had it at heart not to see 
war again take on the destructive character it bore in times 
past. $ Mercier left a copy of the letter and Seward an- 
swered it saying, that Thouvenel had been misled into the 
grievous error of supposing that the United States intended 
to ruin, permanently, the harbors of her commercial cities 
temporarily occupied by the insurgents, and that placing arti- 
ficial obstructions in the channels which led to Charleston 
was only the beginning of the work of universal destruction. 
On the contrary. All that had ever been intended was the 
temporary obstruction of some, not all, of the channels lead- 
ing to Charleston harbor. 

This outbreak of indignation in Great Britain and France 
was largely due to fear that the coast blockade would cut 
off cotton, ruin the fine trade once carried on between these 

* Dayton to Seward, January 27, 1862. House Executive Documents, 
1862-63, vol. 1, pp. 310, 311. 

f Seward to Dayton, February 10, 1862. 

$ House Executive Documents, 37th Congress, 3rd Session, vol. i, 
p. 410. 

Ibid., p. 412. 


countries and the South, and bring distress to thousands of 
workers in Birmingham, Lancashire, Cheshire and western 
Scotland. Dread that such might be the course of events 
should the two sections appeal to arms, gave much concern 
to the rulers of Great Britain long before the blockade was 
laid. In February Lord Eussell instructed Lyons "above all 
things endeavor to prevent a blockade of the Southern coast. 
It would produce misery, discord and enmity incalculable." * 
In March, Lyons assured Seward that "if the United States 
determine to stop by force so important a commerce as that 
of Great Britain with the cotton-growing States, 77 he "could 
not answer for what might happen/ 5 f In April he was still 
striving "to make the Government here aware of the disas- 
trous effects of their blockading the Southern ports, or at- 
tempting to interfere with foreign commerce/ 7 $ Within 
a few days Sumter was surrendered and the long-dreaded 
blockade was laid. Hope of an early peace was now enter- 
tained. But when the news of Bull Run and the second 
great uprising of the North reached Liverpool, all hope of 
an early peace faded away, cotton of every grade rose in 
price, thousands of bales were taken from the market by 
speculators or for export, and warnings of evil days to come 
were sounded. The situation, it was said, is serious. Four 
million people derive subsistence from the cotton industry. 
But the commodity does not exist in any quantity save in 
the United States, and the supply is two hundred thousand 
bales less than at this time one year ago. This means short 
time, idle looms, closed mills, a distressed population. 

If the Southern people are sincerely desirous of sending 
cotton we shall get it sometime, somehow. Where there is a 
will there is a way. But the truth is they think they hold 
the supply of Europe in their hands and may turn the power 
they possess to political advantage. They think if they starve 
Liverpool and Havre and all the factories dependent on these 

* C. F. Adams, Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, vol. 
xlviii, p. 205. 

f Ibid., Lyons to Russell, March 26, 1861, p. 221. 
$ Ibid., p. 224. 
London Nevs, August 12, 1861. 


markets they will force England and France to come to 
terms and either break the blockade or recognize the Con- 
federacy.* We, and our neighbors across the Channel, may 
suffer from a shortage of cotton, but we are not going to 
involve ourselves in a naval war with the Northern States 
in which it is very doubtful if we should have the cooperation 
of France. *j* 

When September came the stock of cotton at Liverpool 
had fallen to five hundred and fifty thousand bales. The 
weeMy consumption was forty-five thousand bales and as a 
matter of precaution the mills resorted to short time. Sev- 
eral at Staleybridge, Oldham, Preston, Blackburn and 
Bromley limited operations to four days a week So serious 
had matters become that a Manchester firm put out a cir- 
cular stating that in all probability the cotton mills would 
soon be on short time ; that many would be forced to close 
during the coming winter and urging the mill hands to 
economize and save. Reports from Lancashire told of mills 
working half time, of manufacturers reducing wages, of 
terrified operatives meeting to discuss what they should do. 

Returns from seventeen towns in the Manchester district 
gave the number of mills as four hundred and seventy-three 
and the workers as eighty-seven thousand nine hundred. 
Such was the depressed state of the industry that six thou- 
sand were idle; sixty-three thousand six hundred on short 
time and but eighteen thousand three hundred worked six 
days a week. In Lancashire the distress was quite as great. 
There two hundred and ninety-five mills were working six 
days a week; seventy-five, five days ; three hundred and four, 
four days ; one hundred and eighteen three days, and forty- 
nine none at all. 

In Lancashire distress and suffering grew more and more 
acute as week followed week. So acute did it become that 
in April a body of merchants and others waited on the Lord 
Mayor of London. They came, they said, to interest him in 
the widespread and constantly increasing distress among the 
operatives in Lancashire and invite him to become the 

* London Times, September 5, 1861. 

t London Skipping Gazette, September 6, 1861. 


medium through whom the charitable might contribute. 
They read to him a letter from the Mayor of Blackburn stat- 
ing that for months past the mills had been running on half 
time; that thousands of the laboring and manufacturing 
population had become dependent on poor rates and gifts for 
existence; and that neither Poor Law Guardians, nor any 
other body could grapple with the situation alone and un- 
aided. Bread was distributed weekly; there had been soup 
kitchens since January giving out daily two thousand quarts ; 
and not less than ten thousand people were receiving bread, 
meal or soup. The upshot was the formation of the Man- 
sion House Committee to receive and forward clothing, 
food, money, whatever the charitable might contribute.* 
By the end of November three hundred and thirty thousand 
unemployed operatives in twenty-seven Unions were then 
receiving relief. 

Such was the distress that the merchants in "New York 
City were moved to seek relief for the sufferers and ap- 
pointed a committee of fifteen to devise the best means of 
affording help, to collect subscriptions of money and food 
from all parts of the country, especially in the food-producing 
States, and forward their collections at once to England. 
Twenty-six thousand dollars were subscribed on the spot; 
an unknown contributor sent, in a letter, seven one-thousand- 
dollar bills with which to buy a thousand barrels of flour; 
and in a short time more than forty thousand dollars had 
been collected. British residents now started a fund and 
the Produce Exchange instructed a committee to solicit 
money, buy food, forward it to England and correspond 
with Boards of Trade in other cities. A member offered to 
carry in his ship Hope, without charge, a thousand barrels of 
flour if delivered before sailing day. Eighty-five hundred 
dollars and three hundred barrels of flour were at once sub- 
scribed, f An appeal from the Chamber of Commerce to the 
American people set forth that the blow struck at our na- 
tional existence had fallen severely on the operatives of 
Europe and urged citizens of every city, town and village to 

* London Times, April 26, 1862. 

t New York Tribune, December 5, 8, 9, 11, 1862. 


forward money and food. Tlie firm of "ST. & GL Griswold now 
offered the use of its new eighteen-thousand-ton sHp to carry 
the food; by mid-December the three funds amounted to one 
hundred and sixty-six thousand dollars; and in Eebruary, 
1863, three relief ships loaded with flour and provisions 
reached Liverpool The operatives of Blackburn in their 
letter of thanks assured the New York Committee and the 
subscribers they had done much more than relieve distress 
in Lancashire. In the midst of unhappy strife they had not 
forgotten the starving. This showed the state of feeling 
of the people of the United States towards their brethren 
in England, and went far to undeceive those misled by the 
enemies of popular government. But they begged to suggest 
that the benevolent object of their friends could have been 
better accomplished by giving distressed operatives free 
passage to the "United States than by sending food to 
be distributed by the relief committees of England. Ten 
thousand families could be removed from Lancashire to 
America in six months. Were it done America would obtain! 
a supply of every sort of labor, and remove from the seat of 
poverty and destitution those willing to seek a home under 
her free constitution.* 

In the South the planters were determined that no cap- 
tured cotton should reach the North if they could prevent 
it ; but there was only one way to prevent it and that was to 
burn it. When, therefore, the Union forces entered Port 
Eoyal, occupied Beaufort and Port Eoyal Island and dom- 
inated the islands roundabout, the planters arranged with 
the military authorities that no plantation should be aban- 
doned until the crops were burned, the gin houses and other 
buildings destroyed, and the livestock driven off. On the 
islands near Port Royal the work, said the Charleston corre- 
spondent of the Richmond Examiner, has already begun. 
During the past few days gangs of negroes from the seaboard 
with household effects and droves of mules and horses passed 
through Charleston on their way to the back country. JN~ight 
before last the air in the city was hazy with the smoke of 

* London Times, January 31, 1863. 


cotton "burning at Edisto and otter Islands between Charles- 
ton and Port BoyaL* "We learn with gratification that 
the patriotic planters on the seaboard are hourly applying 
the torch to their cotton and other produce and effects. Those 
who have not had the heart to enter upon this praiseworthy, 
patriotic, work of destruction themselves have authorized the 
military authorities, before yielding anything that can in the 
least minister to Yankee lust and greed, to make the de- 
struction complete before they leave. Parties from North 
Edisto and the neighborhood unite in asserting that cotton 
and valuables on the plantations, which could not be readily 
removed, were involved in one common flame and ruin." f 
A detachment of twenty-two men went to Paris Island, 
burned seven hundred bales of cotton on one plantation and 
some four thousand on a dozen others. $ 

A traveler on his way down the Mississippi River to Mem- 
phis came upon the burners sent out by the Confederate 
Government to destroy all cotton found anywhere along the 
river, and a dreary sight he beheld. Bales of smoking, 
blackened cotton floated by the steamer. For miles, in some 
places, the river was covered with bunches of raw cotton, 
and the thickets that fringed the bank were as white as if 
snowdrifts were piled against the green foliage. Twenty 
thousand bales, it was reported, had been burned between 
Vicksburg and Greenville, and nine thousand between that 
town and Grand Gulf. All along the river as far as 
JSTapoleon cotton was burning. A quarter of a million bales, 
worth twelve million dollars, it was believed, had been de- 
stroyed along the Mississippi and its tributaries. \\ 

The Erench Consul at New Orleans wrote home that he 
was sure that two hundred and fifty thousand bales had 
been burned, and that the burning had been continued as the 
Federal forces went up the Mississippi River and occupied 

* Richmond Enquirer quoted by New York Herald, December 4, 1861. 

t Charleston Courier, November 30, 1861. 

tlbid., December 9, 1861. 

Little Bock True Democrat, April 30, 1862; New York Tribune, 
May 27, 1862. 

[[Vicksburg Citizen, Vicksburg Whig, Richmond Whig, May 21; 
New York Tribune, June 4, 1862. 


the towns along its banis. Some planters had themselves 
set fire to their crop. Others had left the task to official in- 
cendiaries* All who had time had taken their hales far 
from the river and hidden them in the woods or piled them 
on the open ground inland ready to apply the torch on the 
approach of the Federals. He knew that all in Alabama, 
Mississippi, Louisiana was destined for the flames if the 
Federals came. It was gathered everywhere, in enormous 
piles,, and committees existed everywhere to destroy it when 

* Count Mejan to Thoiivenel, May 30, 1862. House Executive Docu- 
ments, 37tn Congress, 3rd Session, vol. i, pp. 421-423. 




SCARCELY was the Confederate Government under way 
at Montgomery than William Lowndes Yaneey, Pierre 
Adolph Eost and Dudley Ambrose Mann were appointed 
Special Commissioners to the Kingdom of Great Britain 
and Ireland, Belgium, France and Kussia.* Their instruc- 
tions hade them go with all possible speed to London, seek 
an interview with Her Britannic Majesty's Principal Secre- 
tary for Foreign Affairs, inform him that the several Com- 
monwealths forming the Confederate States had severed all 
connection with the United States ; had assumed the powers 
of government and had formed an independent Republic. 
It was not necessary to give all the reasons for this act. The 
Commissioners might refer to the chief causes for separation, 
might show how the act was not taken in haste, but after long, 
patient and mature deliberation, not until the people were 
convinced that their honor, their social and material welfare 
left them no other course to pursue. 

The South in withdrawing violated no obligation of 
allegiance, impaired no public or private interests, merely 
used the sovereign rights the States possessed ever since they 
ceased to be colonies of Great Britain. The Confederacy, 
therefore, presented itself for admission into the family of 
nations, and asked recognition. In all intercourse with 
foreign functionaries the Commissioners were steadily to 
maintain that, happen what might, the Confederate States 
would be firm in their purpose to preserve and perpetuate 
their national independence. 

As soon as officially received by Great Britain, a treaty 
of amity, commerce and navigation should be offered, based 
on the wise maxim of political economy, fc buy where you can 

* Plckett Papers, March 16, 1861. 


buy cheapest; sell wlaere you can sell dearest." Impost 
duties would be for revenue only, and so low as to closely 
approximate free trade. Great Britain should be reminded 
that nearly half the Atlantic Coast of what was once the 
United States, and all the gulf coast now belonged to the 
Confederate States; that nineteen-twentieths of the cotton 
manufactured by Great Britain came from the South and 
the value of goods made from the cotton was six hundred 
million dollars. All obligations of treaties between the 
United States and Britain would be assumed, but not the 
clause in the Webster-Ashhurton treaty which bound the 
United States to keep a naval force on the African coast 
for suppression of the slave trade. Their work done at 
London, Yancey, Host and Mann were to go to Paris, Brus- 
sels, St. Petersburg and such other places as President Davis 
might direct.* 

Thus instructed they set forth as soon as their credentials 
were ready, and by the end of April all three were in London. 
Through the good offices of Mr. Gregory, member of Parlia- 
ment and staunch friend of the South, an interview with 
Lord Russell was arranged, and on the third of May they 
met him informally. They were duly accredited, they said, 
to Her Majesty's Government, and would be ready at the 
proper time to ask for a formal interview that they might 
present their letters. At present their object was an inter- 
change of views concerning America. Lord Russell was 
ready to hear their views, but told them, frankly, that he 
should have little to say. The Commissioners then explained 
at great length the causes of the secession of the seven States, 
the founding of the Confederate Government, its ability to 
act on the defensive, and its desire to cultivate peace and 
friendship with all the nations of the earth. They ended 
by expressing the hope that the Government of Great Britain 
would soon find it possible to recognize the independence of 
the new Republic. Lord Russell answered that the matter 
would be the subject of Cabinet consultation at an early day. 

* Pickett Papers, Instructions to Yancey, Eost and Mann, March 
16, 1861. 


Meanwhile they would see the propriety of Ms declining to 
express any opinion on the matter.* 

Eost now went to Paris, secured an interview with the 
Count de Morney, confidential friend of the Emperor, and 
was assured that France and England had agreed to take the 
same course toward the Confederacy, but he need fear no 
unfriendly action on their part. Recognition was a mere 
question of time. ]STobody in France believed in, or desired, 
the reconstruction of the Union on the old basis. Neverthe- 
less, it would be a fatal mistake to insist on immediate recog- 
nition. Both countries had recognized the Confederate 
States as a belligerent power. Both, during the war, would 
be strictly neutral. This informal recognition, coupled with 
the rights of neutrals under the law of nations, would be 
fully as efficacious as treaties in protecting the Confederacy, 
and less embarrassing to European Governments. The 
Count would always be ready to receive, unofficially, any 
suggestions Mr. Host might offer, provided strict secrecy 
was maintained. Meantime, so long as the Southern States 
produced cotton for sale, France and England would see to 
it that vessels reached the ports where cotton was to be ob- 
tained, f Yancey believed the Emperor considered Euro- 
pean policy far more important than American policy, had 
no feeling on the question of Southern interests, was in 
perfect accord with the Government of Great Britain and 
would leave the decision of American questions in the hands 
of the British Cabinet. Both countries were firm and sin- 
cere in their position of neutrality. They would recognize 
the independence of the Confederate States as soon as the 
inability of the United States to subdue them became mani- 
fest. The South, the French believed, could never be sub- 
jugated. Therefore, they wished for peace, and thought 
England should offer mediation.^ In England the leading 
men of all parties looked on recognition as certain. Public 
opinion, however, was entirely opposed to the South on the 
question of slavery, and the sincerity and universality of 

*Pickett Papers, Library of Congress. 
f Pickett Papers. 



this feeling embarrassed the Government in dealing with 
recognition.* By the first of August the Commissioners 
reported that antislavery sentiment no longer interfered with 
a proper judgment of the contest, and recognition would 
depend on the ability of the South to maintain its Govern- 
ment, f Great was the sensation produced, therefore, in 
Paris and London when, on the seventh of August, the New 
York newspapers and the London Times announced the rout 
at Bull Eun, That the South could never be brought back 
into the Union became a conviction, $ and so encouraged the 
Commissioners that Host was called from Paris to join in a 
letter to Eussell requesting another informal interview. 

Russell desired that they put what they had to say in 
writing, and a few days later a long letter was sent him. 
To this he replied that the British Government did not pre- 
tend to pass judgment on the question in debate between the 
United States and their adversaries; could only regret that 
these differences had been submitted to the arbitrament of 
arms, and considered the contest a civil war. Her Majesty, 
therefore, had, by Eoyal Proclamation, disclosed Her inten- 
tion to observe strict neutrality between the parties in that 
war, would strictly perform the duties which belong to a 
neutral ; could not undertake to determine in advance what 
might be the issue of the contest, nor acknowledge the inde- 
pendence of the nine States combined against the President 
and Congress of the United States until the fortunes of war, 
or the more peaceful mode of negotiations, had clearly de- 
fined the respective positions of the two belligerents, jj 

Eost and Tancey now went back to Paris and were granted 
an informal interview with Thouvenel, Minister of Foreign 
Affairs. France, he told them, watched with lively interest 
the struggle in America. There was an agreement, he said, 
between France and Great Britain to make known to each 
other all facts concerning the war that came to the knowl- 
edge of either, and when they did act, to act together. Their 
Ministers in America nad reported that at present the temper 

*Pickett Papers. f Ibid. Jlbid. 

Mason Papers, Russell to Yaneey and Mann, August 7, 1861. 

1| Ibid., Russell to Yaneey, Rost and Mann, August 24, 1861. 


of tlie people of the two belligerent powers was such that 
action was not politic. When they did act they wished to do 
so at such a time, and in such a way, as to bring peace. An 
important military success by the South might determine the 
time of their action. 

As to the blockade, UL Thouvenel said, the French and 
English admirals on the American coast reported that while 
it did not seal the ports, it was not so ineffective as to justify 
a protest against it. Though the Foreign Minister did not 
say so in words, the Commissioners were sure the French 
Government profoundly sympathized with the South, and 
expected that events would soon happen which would en- 
able it to recognize the independence of the Confederate 

The three Commissioners now laid the matter of blockade 
before Lord Eussell. The five great Powers in the Declara- 
tion of Paris, they reminded him, had agreed "that blockades 
to be binding must be effective, that is, maintained by a 
force really sufficient to prevent access to the enemy's coast." 
This declaration the Confederate States had accepted, and 
expected the Powers to abide by it, for the blockade of the 
Confederate ports was far from effective. In evidence of 
this, acting under instructions from President Davis, they 
submitted a list of four hundred vessels which had come 
into, or gone out from, Southern ports between the day 
whereon blockade was proclaimed and the twentieth of 
August, 1861.f Eussell declined, "in the present state of 
affairs/ 7 to enter into any official communication. $ "What 
truckling/' Tancey wrote home, "to the arrogant demands of 
Mr. Seward that England should forget her international 
privilege of hearing the case of a belligerent power. What 
a violation in fact of that impartial neutrality promised, a 
neutrality, indeed, which included the equal hearing of both 
sides, although on unequal terms, officially one side, unoffi- 
cially the other. 33 

*Pickett Papers, Yancey and Host to Hunter, October 28, 1861. 
t Ibid,, Protest of Yancey, Host and Mann, November 30, 1861. 
i Ibid., Russell, December 7, 1861. 
Ibid., Yancey to tlie Secretary of State, December 31, 1861. 


When January came Confederate interests in England 
passed to the hands of James Murray Mason and those in 
France to John Slidell. Yancey, Eost and Mann had all 
three been commissioned to Great Britain, Prance, Belgium 
and such other powers as Davis might think proper. The 
plan had been hastily made, hastily adopted and had not 
worked well. A joint commission of three was too cumber- 
some. Tancey resigned in disgust, and in October the old 
plan was abolished. Mann was made commissioner to 
Belgium, Eost to Spain, Mason to Great Britain and Slidell 
to France. 

The new commissioners, Mason and Slidell, were to sail 
from Charleston. But the blockading fleet had been 
strengthened, and fearing capture should they attempt to 
run through it, they thought, for a while, of going by way 
of Mexico. The privateer Gordon was finally chartered, 
renamed Theodora, and during the dark and rainy night of 
October eleventh ran the blockade and made direct for 

, ITow it so happened that just at this time the San Jacinto 
touched at Cienfugos. During twenty months prior to 
August, 1861, she had been one of a squadron of United 
States vessels on the coast of Africa engaged in the attempts 
to suppress the trade in slaves. On the recall of the squadron 
at the opening of the war, she was ordered to Fernando Po, 
where Captain Charles Wilkes, well known for his explora- 
tions in the South Polar Seas, was given command. Cruising 
along the African coast he stopped at the Cape Yerde 
Islands, was told that Confederate privateers were burning 
merchantmen in the West Indian waters, went direct to 
St. Thomas and found the PowJiaian and Iroquois in port. 
A captain of a British merchantman came in the next day 
and reported that his vessel had been stopped by a mys- 
terious steamer, clearly a vessel of war, whose name he 
could not learn. Shown a photograph of the Sumter he 
declared her to be the steamer in question, and the Powhdtdn f 
Iroquois and San Jacinto went in pursuit. Happening to 
put in at Cienfugos, Wilkes read in the newspapers that two 
* Official Records, Navies, Series 1, vol. i, pp. 151-152. 


Confederate Commissioners, Mason and Slidell, on their way 
to Europe, had reached Havana, had taken passage for St. 
Thomas on the British Packet Trent, would sail on November 
seventh, and that the Theodora had left for Charleston. He 
set off in pursuit, failed to overtake her, went to Key West, 
and then to Sagua la Grand, on the north coast of Cuba, 
endeavored to obtain from our Consul at Havana information 
as to the exact time when the Trent would leave, and failing, 
set off to await her in the old Bahama Channel. 

About noon on the eighth of November she was seen ap- 
proaching, was brought to by a shell fired across her bows, 
and boarded by a lieutenant from the San Jacinto bearing 
instructions to demand her papers, her clearance and the list 
of passengers and crew. Should Mason, Slidell and their 
secretaries, Eustis and McFarland, be on board, he was to 
make them prisoners and take possession of the ship. The 
orders were partly executed. The commissioners and their 
secretaries were brought on board the San Jacinto,, but the 
Trent was not made a prize and went on her way to St. 
Thomas. The San Jacinto put in for coal at Hampton 
Eoads, where Flag-Officer G-oldsborough telegraphed her 
arrival to the Secretary of the Navy.* 

When the report of the capture was posted on the bulletin 
board of the New York newspapers it was at first disbelieved. 
When confirmed by later and fuller reports men began to 
ask each other, what will the consequences be? Taken, it 
was said, off a British steamer, and a mail steamer at that ! 
There will be war with England. The writings of Puffen- 
dorf , Vattel, Wheaton, Martens were consulted and a search 
made for precedents. There were plenty of cases, it was 
pointed out, in which Great Britain had done the very same 
thing. There was the famous case of the Leopard and th 
Chesapeake. There was the case of the steamboat Caroline. 
There was the case of Terence Bellew McManus, who, in the 
days of the Irish Kebellion of 1848, was taken from the deck 
of an American brig in Cork harbor ; and there was the case 
of Lucien Bonaparte. Wishing to come to America he took 

* Official Records, NaTies, Series 1, vol. i, p. 142. 



passage on an American vessel, sailed from Sardinia, was' 
overcome by seasickness and demanded to be put ashore in 
a Mediterranean port. The commander of a British warship, 
in the port to which, he was taken, hearing that he was on 
the American ship, b'oarded her and made him a prisoner.* 
There was the seizure, in 1780, by Great Britain, of Henry 
Lanrens from the deck of a Dutch ship.f 

What is the use, said others, of studying Puffendorf to 
find out whether Wilkes did right or wrong ? The thing is 
done. It is too late. This much, however, is certain: If 
the act be wrong and can only be atoned for by ample apology 
and the surrender of the prisoners, and the atonement ig 
made it will raise such a breeze that the Administration will 
regret its act:}: All the newspapers in "Hew York City, save 
one, held that Wilkes did right and that England had always 
recognized the right of search by a belligerent, had never 
abandoned it, had always claimed it. The Trent was liable 
to capture, and England would find it hard to establish a 
claim for her owners after justifying MeLeod for cutting out 
the Caroline. What will Great Britain say, asked the 
Tew York Tribune^ and answered : a We do not know and we 
do not greatly care." |] The Queen's Proclamation warns her 
subjects against "conveying officers, soldiers, dispatches, arms 

*New York Herald, November 18, 1861. 

f Under date of December 10, 1861, Moran wrote in Ms diary that 
Adams took up the ease of the Mercury on board which. Laurens was 
captured September 3, 1780. "George Stunner, brother of Charles 
Sunmer has been writing on the subject and says she was a Dutch 
vessel from St. Eustace to Botterdam." Moran went to the Doctors 
Commons to ask where the facts could be obtained. At the Admiralty 
Office in Whitehall he was told. On his way thither he saw for the 
first time the Confederate flag. It was flying from the top of the 
Adelphia Theater on the west side. On the east side was the Stars 
and Stripes. The flags had been raised by order of Boucicault. At 
the Admiralty Office Moran was shown the log of the "Vestal and "a 
list of ships and vessels taken "by His Majesty's Squadron under com- 
mand of Bear Admiral Edwards at Newfoundland." In the last he 
found that the Mercury was a "Congress Packet." 

$ Philadelphia Public Ledger, November 17, 1861. 

For the Caroline incident see History of the People of the U. S, 
Vol. vi, pp. 439-441, 610-620. 

|| New York Tribune, November 17, 1861, 


for use in tlie service of either belligerent." The Trent, 
therefore, was doubly liable to capture. She was conveying 
enemies' dispatches, and her purser refused to show her 

From Fortress Monroe the San Jacinto went to New York, 
where Wilkes received orders to sail to Boston and de- 
liver the prisoners and their baggage to the commanding 
officer at Fort Warren. The order was executed, and Mason, 
Slidell and their secretaries were held prisoners in the fort. 

Wilkes was now the hero of the hour. To dine him, feast 
him, thank him, became a craze. At Boston a banquet was 
given in his honor. At E"ew York there was a public re- 
ception in the City Hall, a formal welcome by the Mayor, 
and an address by the foreman of the Grand Jury. Secretary 
Welles in an official letter said : "Your conduct was marked 
by intelligence, ability, decision and firmness, and has the 
emphatic approval of this department." In his annual re- 
port, made a few days later, he again declared that the con- 
duct of Wilkes merited and had received the emphatic ap- 
proval of the department. On the day Congress met, the 
House thanked him for his "brave, adroit and patriotic con- 
duct/' and adopted two resolutions. One set forth that, 
whereas Colonel Michael Corcoran, taken prisoner at Bull 
Eun, had been confined in the cell of a convicted felon, there- 
fore, resolved that the President be requested to similarly 
confine James M. Mason. The other called on the President 
to confine John Slidell in the same sort of prison and subject 
him to the same treatment as was Colonel Alfred M. Wood, 
of 14th Regiment of ]STew York militia, who, wounded and 
taken prisoner at the battle of Bull Run, was then "by rebel 
authorities" confined in a felon's prison and treated as a 
prisoner convicted of infamous crimes. 

The President in his message said not a word concerning 
the Trent; but to visitors who called at the White House on 
the evening of the day whereon the news of the act of Wilkes 
was made public, he spoke freely. He was, he said, afraid 
the traitors would "prove to be white elephants/ 7 and de- 
clared that we must "stick to American principles concern- 
ing the rights of neutrals/' that we once fought Great Britain 



for insisting on the right to do what Wilkes had done, and 
that, if she now protested, we mnst give up the prisoners, 
apologize for violating our own doctrines, and so bind her 
over to keep the peace in relation to neutrals, and own that 
for sixty years she had been in the wrong. 

ISTow it so happened that on November sixth the United 
States steamer James Adger, sent out in October to intercept 
the Confederate steamer Nashville, then supposed to have 
Mason and Slidell on board, entered Southampton harbor.* 
Her presence there gave such concern to Lord Palmerston that 
before a week went by "the Chancellor, Dr. Lushington, the 
three Law Officers, Sir Gk Grey, the Duke of Somerset/' met 
him at the Treasury to consider what should be done "about 
the American cruiser, come, no doubt, to search the West 
Indian Packet supposed to be bringing thither the two South- 
ern envoys." What took place at the meeting was told by 
Palmerston in a private letter to Delane, editor of the Times. 
"Much to my regret, it appeared that, according to the prin- 
ciples of international law laid down in our courts by Lord 
Stowell, and practiced and enforced by us, a belligerent has a 
right to stop and search any neutral not being a ship of war, 
and being suspected of carrying enemy's dispatches ; and that 
consequently this American cruiser might, by our own prin- 
ciples of international law, stop the West Indian Packet, 
search her, and if the Southern men and their dispatches 
and credentials were found on board, either take them out, 
or seize the Packet and carry her back to New York foi< 
trial/' f 

"Now that the act they feared had been done, now that a 
Packet had been stopped, searched and men and dispatches' 
taken out, this opinion of the law officers was in part sup- 
pressed, and the public assured by the Times that the opinion 
of the law officers of the Crown had been given that "the 
proceedings of the American frigate were not justified by 
the law of nations" ; that the right "of the Federal Govern- 

* Official Records, Navies, Series 1, vol. i, pp. 124-126, 128-129. 

f Palmerston to Delane, November 11, 1861. The Trent Affair, C. F. 
Adams, Proceedings, Massachusetts Historical Society, vol. zlv, pp. 


ment acting through its officers was confined to visiting and 
searching the Mail Packet"; that "if any men, or things, 
believed to "be contraband" were found on board,, they might 
"take her into a port and submit the question to a prize 
court." * If this were not so, then of what use were Prize 
Courts and Admiralty Judges, codes of law and libraries of 
admiralty decisions? If the lieutenant of a frigate or the 
coxswain of a boat's crew is to decide, while in possession of 
a rich merchantman, what he will take as contraband, and 
what leave, what need is there to erect tribunals to decide 
between the Queen's cruisers and the meanest foreigner who 
complains of injustice ? ) 

Despite the opinion of the law officers of the Crown as 
told by Palmerston to Delane, his lordship wrote to the 
Queen that it was the opinion of the Cabinet that the Wash- 
ington Government should be told that what had been done 
was a violation of international law, and of the rights of 
Great Britain; that it was hoped the act would be disavowed 
and the prisoners returned to British protection, and that, if 
the demand were refused, Lord Lyons should retire from 
the United States. $ With the note went a draft of the 
proposed dispatch to Lord Lyons which, after revision by 
Her Majesty and the Prince Consort, then ill and fast ap- 
proaching his death, went back to Palmerston. In the opin- 
ion of the Queen, the Prince wrote, the draft was somewhat 
meager. Her Majesty would have liked to have seen in it 
the expression of a hope that Wilkes did not act under in- 
structions, or had misunderstood them; that the United 
States must know that the British Government could not 
allow its flag to be insulted, and the security of its mail 
placed in jeopardy; that Her Majesty's Government is un- 
willing to believe that the United States intended wantonly 
to put an insult on Great Britain; and that it is glad to 
believe that, after full consideration of the circumstances of 
the undoubted breach of international law, the United States 
would spontaneously offer such redress as alone would satisfy 

* London Times, November 29, 1861. 

t Ibid., November 28, 1861. 

$ Life of the Prince Consort, Theodore Martin, vol. v, p. 420. 


Great Britain, restoration of the passengers and a suitable 
apology.* All these suggested changes were made, and on 
Sunday, December first, a messenger bearing the dispatch 
to Lord Lyons was on his way to Queenstown.f 

At the American Legation Moran wrote in his diary that 
the excitement was truly terrific; that the Europa, had been 
detained at Queenstown to carry out an ultimatum; that its 
purport, as stated in the London newspapers, was, that the 
law officers of the Crown had decided that "Wilkes had not 
insulted England enough, and the result was a demand for 
apology and return of the men. By harping on this, and 
asserting that the act of "Wilkes was an authorized and de- 
liberate insult by the "United States, the English journals 
had lashed the nation into a most indecent rage. $ "The 
leading newspapers/' wrote Adams, "roll out as much fiery 
lava as Yesuvius is doing daily. The clubs, and the army, 
and the navy, and the people on the streets generally, are 
raving for war. On the other side are the religious people, 
and a large number of stock jobbers and traders, together 
with the radical following of Messrs. Cobden and Bright." 

England was then, indeed, aflame. Men of importance, 
public meetings, the press, denounced the act of Wilkes as 
a wanton outrage and an insult, and violently abused the 
President, the Government and the people of the United 
States. Wilkes, said the London Times, "unfortunately is 
but too faithful a type of the people in whose foul mission 
he is engaged. He is an ideal Yankee. Swagger and 
ferocity, built on a foundation of vulgarity and cowardice, 
these are his characteristics, and these are the most prom- 
inent marks by which his countrymen, generally speaking, 
are known all over the world. To bully the weak, to triumph 
over the helpless, to trample on every law of country and 
custom, willfully to violate all the most sacred interests of 
human nature, to defy as long as danger does not appear, 
and, as soon as real peril shows itself, to sneak aside and 

* Life of the Prince Consort, Theodore Martin, vol. v, p, 422. 
f London Times, December 2, 1861. 

t Koran's Diary, December 3, 1861. Library of Congress. 
A Cycle of Adams' Letters, vol. i, p. 88. 


run away these are the virtues of the race which presumes 
to announce itself as the leader of civilization, and the 
prophet of human progress in these latter days. By Captain 
Wilkes let the Yankee breed be judged." * 

Another journal was of the opinion that Wilkes had no 
right to arrest peaceful passengers sailing under the British 
flag; that the deed was a flagrant violation of the code of 
nations, a direct insult to Great Britain, and hoped the gentle- 
men would be released and amends made. Surely the 
United States would not risk a war with England. There 
were in American waters not far from a thousand British 
guns. In a month the British navy could sweep all the San 
Jacintos from the sea, blockade USTorthern ports, and turn to 
a direct and speedy issue the tide of war now raging, f 

The Morning Chronicle did not like the President. 
"Abraham Lincoln, whose accession to power was generally 
welcomed on this side of the Atlantic, has proved himself a 
feeble, confused and little-minded mediocrity. Mr. Seward, 
the firebrand at his elbow, is exerting himself to provoke a 
quarrel with all Europe, in that spirit of senseless egotism 
which induces the Americans, with their dwarf fleet, and 
shapeless mass of incoherent squads, which they call an 
army, to fancy themselves the equal of France by land, and 
of Great Britain by sea. If the Federal States could be 
rid of these mischief-makers it might yet redeem itself in 
the sight of the world ; but while they stagger on at the head 
of affairs, their only chance of fame consists in the prob- 
ability that the navies of England will blow out of the water 
their blockading squadrons, and teach them how to respect 
the flag of a mightier supremacy beyond the Atlantic. $ 

"Unless Mr. Seward be simply out of his senses with rage, 
fear and helplessness, unless he be intoxicated with his own 
boastfulness until he believes his own statements, he must 
be aware that England can, before the present month is 
passed, destroy, or take possession of, every seaport in the 
Northern States, raise the blockade of the Southern coast, 

* London Times, November 28, 1861. 

t London Post quoted by the New York Tribune, December 16, 1861. 

$ Morning Ch.ronicle, November 28, 1861. 


and sweep the seas clear of the Federal flag. And yet, with 
this knowledge he has ventured on us an outrage which 
ought to be avenged by the immediate appearance of a British 
fleet in the Chesapeake, bringing the alternative of instant 
reparation or war. What we should do is sufficiently clear. 
It is the duty of our Government to demand the immediate 
return of the gentlemen stolen from under our flag, in honor- 
able guise, together with an ample apology for a lawless act 
of piratical aggression, and to prepare for the rejection of 
such a demand by dispatching forthwith to the American 
coast such a naval force as may insure the total destruction 
of the Federal navy, and the instant blockade of all the chief 
Northern ports ; if due satisfaction be not given without 
delay." * 

The Government was preparing such a force. November 
thirtieth Lord Eussell bade the Lords Commissioners of thef 
Admiralty instruct Vice-Admiral Milne to communicate with' 
Lord Lyons at Washington, look to the safety of Her 
Majesty's possessions in North America, and see that no- 
ships were so placed as to be commanded by land batteries 
of superior force. One royal proclamation forbade the ex- 
port, or coastwise transport, of gunpowder, saltpeter, nitrate 
of soda and brimstone.f Another laid a like prohibition on 
the export of arms, ammunition, military stores and lead. $ 
Every dockyard, every arsenal, was the scene of warlike prep- 
aration. Armstrong and Whitworth cannon were purchased ; 
Enfield rifles, ammunition and stores were hurried on board 
the Melbourne to be carried to Canada; twenty-five thou- 
sand muskets were taken from the Tower. The ironclad 
Warrior was made ready for service ; the steam-packet Persia 
was taken over and with the Adriatic and the Parana were 
prepared for the transport of troops to Canada. The Vol- 
unteers of the Royal Naval Eeserve in the port of London, 
having heard "that our flag has been grossly insulted by 
an American ship of war," declared, to the shipping master 
of Limehouse, their readiness to "protect the honor of our 

* London Herald. 

f London Gazette, November 30, 1861. 

$ Ibid., December 4, 1861. 


flag, our good Queen and Country." Those of Liverpool, 
Hartlepool, Sunderland and North Shields sent similar 

In the midst of this preparation a dispatch reached Adams 
informing him that the arrest of Mason and Slidell was 
unforeseen and solely the act of Captain Wilkes ; that Seward 
would wait for the demands of the British Government, and 
if they should be, as he hoped they would be, in the same 
spirit of good will as was his dispatch, they would be granted. 
Adams read the dispatch to Russell, f 

The London Times rejoiced greatly over the preparations 
made by the Admiralty. Five weeks before the Commission- 
ers were seized, it said, Admiral Milne had on the North 
Atlantic and West Indian stations line-of-battle ships, first- 
class frigates, well-armed corvettes and sloops, amounting 
in all to eight hundred and fifty guns. Now, such had been 
the speed shown by the Admiralty, he would soon have more 
than a thousand guns. Never before had such a fleet of 
picked cruisers been sent against an enemy. With these 
sixty-five sail the Admiral could blockade the whole Federal 
coast in a week. One vessel could close Portland; another 
Boston. Two off Cape May would be ample for the Delaware 
River and the Philadelphia trade, and with the Warrior, 
forty guns, off Sandy Hook, what could enter New York? 
What resistance could Fort Hamilton make to the four iron 
frigates should the Government decide to force the passage, 
lay the fleet broadside on to the streets of New York and 
dictate peace ? $ 

The people of Canada did not want war with the people of 
the United States. Both are of the same race, it was said, 
speak the same language, and are bound by trade connections 
and social ties. But, should war break out between England 
and the United States, these bonds will be broken, and the 
Canadians will fight. There are plenty of loyal men ready to 
defend Canada when assailed; but they are not such mad- 
men as to seek a quarrel with neighbors who have done them 

* London Times, JSTovember 30, December 3, 1861. 
f Moran's Diary, December 17, 19, 23, 1861. 
$ London Times, January 7, 1862. 



no Harm. Nevertheless, without waiting for further news 
from England, measures of defense were started at once. 
Ghms were moved from Quebec to Toronto. Old Fort Cham- 
bly was put in repair. Port Dalhousie, it was announced, 
would be defended, and Collingswood made a naval depot on 
Lake Huron. Officers and clerks of the Montreal banks, 
men in the employ of the railways formed rifle corps ; mer- 
chants enlisted in the City Guards. Towards the close of 
December a general order from Quebec required each of the 
five hundred battalions of Sedentary Militia to form one 
corps each and prepare for active service. 

The demand of the British Government for the surrender 
of the envoys reached "Washington on the eighteenth of De- 
cember. After a brief statement of the manner of seizure of 
Mason and Slidell, Lord Eussell declared that the act was 
"an affront to the British flag and a violation of international 
law"; that Her Majesty's government "are willing to be- 
lieve" that Wilkes "was not acting in compliance with any 
authority from his Government" ; "was unwilling to believe 
that it could be the deliberate intention of the Government to 
force into discussion between the two Governments a question, 
of so grave a character" ; and "trusted that when the matter 
was brought to the attention of the United States" that Gov- 
ernment would, of its own accord, offer to the British Govern- 
ment such redress as alone could satisfy the British nation, 
namely, "the liberation of the four gentlemen, and their de- 
livery to your lordship, in order that they may again be 
placed under British protection, and a suitable apology for 
the aggression which has been committed." Should Mr. 
Seward not offer these terms Lord Lyons was to propose 
them to him. 

A private letter to Lord Lyons, instructed him that "should 
Mr. Seward ask for delay in order that this grave and 
painful matter should be deliberately considered, you will con- 
sent to a delay not exceeding seven days." Should no answer 
be given before the end of that time, or any other answer 
given save "that of a compliance with the demands," Lord 
Lyons was to leave Washington with all the members of his 
legation. If, however, he was of the opinion that the demands 


had been substantially complied with, lie was to report the 
fact and remain for further orders. It was the wish of Lord 
Russell that at the first interview with Seward he "should 
not take the dispatch/ 3 tut should prepare Seward for it, 
"and ask him to settle with the President and Cabinet what 
course they will pursue. M. Thouvenel promises to send off 
a dispatch Thursday next giving our cause moral support." * 
"We want a plain yes, or a plain no, to our simple demands, 
and we want that plain yes or no within seven days after the 
communication of the dispatch." f 

On the afternoon of the nineteenth his lordship called at 
the Department of State. As instructed he did not bring the 
dispatch, but stated its substance and expressed the hope that 
the United States, as of its own accord, would offer the repara- 
tion demanded. Seward then asked "informally" if any time 
was fixed within which the United States must reply. "I told 
him/' said Lord Lyons, "I did not like to answer that ques- 
tion; that what of all things I wished to avoid was the slight- 
est appearance of menace. He said I need not fear that; he 
only wished me to tell him privately and confidentially. I 
said that on that understanding I would tell him that the 
limit was seven days. 37 $ 

Seward then asked for a copy of the instructions "unoffi- 
cially and informally/' said that much depended on the 
wording of it, and that much time would be lost if he did 
not have it at once. Lyons answered that the only reason he 
did not give it officially at once, was that from the moment 
he did the time limit began to run. At a second interview, 
on the twenty-first, the dispatch was formally and officially 

The Cabinet meeting to consider it was held on Christmas 
morning and was attended by Sumner who came on invi- 
tation. Seward presented the draft of his reply; Sumner 
read letters received from Bright and Cobden, and while 

* Lord Lyons, by Lord Newton, vol. 1, p. 62. 

f Kussell to Lyons, December 7, 1861. Lord Lyons, by Lord Newton, 
vol. 1, p. 64. 

$ Lord Lyons, by Lord Newton, vol. i, p. 65. 
Ibid., pp. 65, 66. 


they were under discussion, the dispatch from Thouvenel 
the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, to M. Mercier, the 
French Minister to the "United States, was brought to the door 
of the room wherein the Cabinet met. 

The commander of the San Jacmto, M. Thouvenel said in 
his letter, must have seized Mason and Slidell as enemies, 
or because he only recognized them as rebels. But on what 
grounds could he seize them as enemies ? The United States 
in treaties with France had admitted that freedom of the flag 
extends to persons found on board, even were they enemies 
of one of the treaty parties, save in the case of military men 
actually in service of the enemy. Mason and Slidell by this 
principle were perfectly free under the neutral flag of Eng- 
land. That they were contraband of war could not be pre- 
tended. True, what constitutes contraband of war had not 
been precisely determined. But, as to persons, the special 
stipulation concerning military men clearly defined the char- 
acter of those who may be seized. Nothing remained, there- 
fore, to explain their capture but the pretext that they were 
bearers of dispatches of the enemy. But the Trent was not 
bound to a port belonging to either belligerent. She had 
taken on her cargo and passengers at one neutral port, and 
was carrying them to another. If, under such circum- 
stances, a neutral flag does not protect the goods and passen- 
gers on the ship, it never can do so. To deny this would be 
to return to the vexatious practice against which no Power 
has protested more energetically than the United States. 

To seize Mason and Slidell as rebels would be a violation 
of the principle which constitutes a ship a portion of the 
country whose flag she bears. It was not necessary to recall 
the energy with which, on every occasion, the Government of 
the United States has defended this immunity, and the 
right of asylum which is a consequence of it. Nothing, there- 
fore, remained for the United States to do, but to yield to 
the demands of the British Government, give up the men, and 
offer such explanations as would taie from the act its offen- 
sive character towards the British flag.* 

* Official Records, Series 2, vol ii, pp. 1116-1118. 


*No decision was reached that day. The discussion of the 
reply of the Secretary was continued on the twenty-sixth. 
The President was for arbitration and would abide by the 
result. Indeed, he had prepared a draft of a reply containing 
such a proposal^ but it was not discussed. Attorney-G-eneral 
Bates was for a surrender of the men. It was necessary. The 
country could not afford a war with England. Mr. Blair was 
of the same mind, Secretary Chase could not bear to give 
them up; it was wormwood and gall to him; but under the 
circumstances it was simply doing right, simply proving 
faithful to our traditions under strong temptation to violate 
them. He gave his approval of the draft. In the end it 
was approved unanimously, and under date of December 
twenty-sixth a note was delivered to Lord Lyons. It should 
have been brief, dignified, statesmanlike ; a statement that the 
four prisoners would be surrendered because their seizure 
was not authorized ; because it was in direct violation of the 
policy of the United States often stated and long upheld in 
many controversies with Great Britain, and because from, 
this policy, the United States would not under any circum- 
stances depart. It was long, verbose, written in the first; 
person, and announced the surrender of the men because 
Captain Wilkes voluntarily released the Trent when he should 
have brought her into port for adjudication. It ended with 
the words: "The four persons in question are now held in 
military custody at Fort Warren, in the State of Massachu- 
setts. They will be cheerfully liberated. Your lordship will 
please indicate a time and place for receiving them." 

This was just what Lord Lyons had expected. Those, he 
wrote "Russell, who had not seen the Americans at close 
quarters would probably be more surprised then he was at 
the surrender of the prisoners. He was sure, from the very 
first, that they would give in, if convinced that war was the 
only alternative. His difficulty had been to make them under- 
stand that it was surrender or fight, and yet do so in such 
wise as not to mate the humiliation too great to b borne.* 
"The real cause of the yielding was nothing more nor less 

* Lyons to Russell, December 27, 1861. Lord Lyons by Lord North, 
vol. i, p. 73. 


than the military preparations made in England. They are 
horribly out of humor and looking out for some mode of 
annoying us without danger to themselves." * 

Without waiting to hear from home Lord Lyons accepted 
the note as a full and satisfactory settlement of the matter, 
and on December thirtieth directed the commander of the 
British sloop-of-war, Einaldo, to proceed to Provincetown, 
on the end of Cape Cod, and there await the delivery of the 
prisoners. He did not wait long, for late on the afternoon 
of the first day of the new year Mason, Slidell, their secre- 
taries and their baggage were placed aboard the Einaldo 
which at once got under way for Halifax. During the eve- 
ning the Captain showed a letter from Lyons which bade him 
treat the Commissioners with all respect due to private gentle- 
men, and carry them to Halifax, or any other neutral port 
they might select. As the shortest way to England was by 
way of Halifax they chose that route. But during the night 
the Rinaldo ran into a gale which continued with increasing 
violence, thick weather, and snow for five days. ]N~o observa- 
tions could be taken ; the temperature fell to fifteen degrees 
Fahrenheit; ice covered the rigging, sails, and deck so 
thickly that hot water, and finally hatchets and pickaxes 
were used to clear the ropes and decks. Heavy cross seas 
broke over her. Two boats were swept from their davits; 
the wheel ropes were carried away; coal was running low; 
many sailors were badly frostbitten; the taffrail was stove 
in; and the only sail set was blown away. The Captain 
then decided to bear away for Bermuda, which was reached 
January ninth. From Bermuda they went to St. Thomas 
whence they sailed for Southampton, f 

By noon on December twenty-seventh the Washington cor- 
respondents of the New York journals were aware of what 
had taken place in the Cabinet; of the strong opposition to 
surrendering the prisoners ; of the final unanimous decision 
to give them up, and had attempted to so inform their jour- 
nals. But the censor of the telegraph withheld their mes- 

* Lyons to Russell, December 31, 1861, p. 74. 

t Mason Papers, Library of Congress, Mason to Hunter, February 
2, 1862. 


sages for two days. "Not until the thirtieth, when the cor- 
respondence between Lord Lyons and Seward was allowed 
to be published, did the people know exactly what were the 
demands of England and what was the action of the United 

December twenty-eighth the City of 'Washington and the 
Tutonid with copies of newspapers announcing that Mason 
and Slidell would be placed under the British flag, sailed from 
]STew York and the Jura from Portland with official dis- 
patches from Lord Lyons. The Jura and the City of Wash- 
ington reached Queenstown on the eighth of January, 1862, 
and that evening, before the curtain rose in Drury Lane 
Theater, London, the audience were informed from the stage 
that "the Americans had thought better of it, ?; and given 
up the men. Those present received the news with every 
manifestation of exultation and delight, and sang the Na- 
tional Anthem. A like scene occurred at the Royal Olympic 
Theater. At the centers of American trade the news pro- 
duced a sense of great relief. At Manchester the prices of 
cotton goods stiffened. Newcastle-on-Tyne read it with 
ptide and satisfaction. At Nottingham, it was promptly 
posted on the Exchange. And when, toward evening, it 
reached Norwich, the bells of the Church of St. Peter were 

When Parliament, early in February, had listened to the 
reading of the Queen's Speech, Lord Dufferin in the House 
of Lords moved the address in reply. Following the usual 
custom he passed in review the topics touched on in the 
speech, and coming to the Trent Affair said : at all events the 
action of the Americans had been in accordance with the dic- 
tates of justice, law, and common sense, and England might 
well afford to ignore the ungracious commentaries by which it 
had been accompanied. It was enough that a sensitive, cou- 
rageous and powerful people, having been betrayed into a 
false position by the folly of one of their unscrupulous citi- 
zens had acknowledged the error and offered the only satis- 
faction the nature of the case admitted. 

* New York Tribune, December 30, 1861. 


Lord Derby thought "it greatly to be regretted that having 
made up his mind that reparation and apology were neces- 
sary, the American Secretary of State should have waited 
until the formal demand was made, not privately, but offi- 
cially and formally, thus waiting not to consider how much 
reparation he should give, but how small a measure of repara- 
tion would satisfy the imperative demand of Great Britain. 
By the course which they pursued the Federal Government 
have placed themselves, and their people, in an undignified 
and unworthy position, and have shown that they apologized, 
not from a sense of justice, but on a demand backed by 

Disraeli believed the conduct of the Government in the 
matter of the Trent was such as he trusted only men respon- 
sible for the conduct of Government would have followed. 
On the other hand he was bound to say that the reparation 
offered seemed to him to have been influenced by sentiments 
as worthy. He did not propose to pry and peer into any 
possible motives that might have influenced the conduct of 
public men. When he considered the great difficulties which 
the statesmen of North America had to meet, when he con- 
sidered the awful emergency they had been summoned to 
meet, and which they had so manfully met, he thought it 
became England to extend to all which they said a generous 
interpretation, and to that which they did a liberal construc- 

Scarcely had the Commissioners been released from im- 
prisonment when rumor said that Seward had offered the 
British Government the use of Portland, Maine, as a landing 
place for troops on their way to Canada. The story was false. 
On January fourth he received from the United States Mar- 
shal at Portland a dispatch. The sender stated that the Mon- 
treal Steamship Company's Bohemian which plied regularly 
between that port, Londonderry and Liverpool, was off Cape 
Race with British troops on board. She was due to arrive on 
the seventh, and he asked if any course of action different 
from that heretofore pursued was to be taken. Seward re- 

* London Times, February 8, 1862. 


plied that the Marshal and federal officials in Portland should 
give to the British agents all proper facilities for landing and 
conveying the troops to Canada. With this, he supposed the 
incident was closed. But the Senate of Maine hearing of 
the order, bade the Governor request Seward to send full in- 
formation relative to the passage of British troops, if not in- 
compatible with public interests, and report what steps, if 
any, had been taken to prevent such use of American soil 
within the State of Maine. The Governor made the request ; 
but Seward gave reasons, not information. Passage of the 
troops and munitions across the territory of the United States 
by the Grank Trunk Railroad, would save the men from the 
risk and suffering to which they might be exposed were they 
left to find their way through the ice and snow of Canada. 
When humanity, or even convenience, rendered it desirable 
for one nation to have passage through the territory of an- 
other, it was a customary act of comity to grant it. On this 
principle the United States repeatedly had the right of pas- 
sage of troops by the Panama Railroad across ISTew Granada. 
Should the United States withhold this customary privilege 
from Great Britain, she must do so either capriciously, or 
from conviction that it would be injurious to public safety. 

He was not ignorant that popular asperities had recently 
appeared in Canada, as well as in the British Isles, which 
seemed to show a growing alienation of sentiment among 
British peoples. But the British Government, in spite of 
all this, had held toward us its customary language of 
friendship and respect. It did not occur to him that Maine 
would feel aggrieved. Nevertheless, Maine had been so 
patriotic and loyal that the President would not wound any 
susceptibility she might feel. If, therefore, the Governor 
would advise him that the directions in question were likely 
to have that effect they would cheerfully be modified.* 

* Israel Washtrarn, Jr., to Seward, January 13, 1862. Seward to 
Governor Washburn, January 17, 1862. 





THE President having entered on his term of office with 
the declaration that "no state upon its own mere motion can 
lawfully get out of the Union," that he considered the Union 
unbroken; that it was his duty to take care "that the laws of 
the Union be faithfully executed in all the states," there 
was no such sudden breaking of the means of travel and 
communication as would have taken place had the war been 
waged against a foreign country. Travelers went back and 
forth between the 'Noith and the South with little trouble. 
Telegrams were sent as usual, express companies continued to 
do business in the South and newspapers and letters were 
carried in the mails. Indeed, Lincoln had promised that they 
should be. "The mails," he said, "unless repelled will con- 
tinue to be furnished in all parts of the Union. So far as 
possible the people everywhere shall have that sense of perfect 
security which is most favorable to calm thought and reflec- 

On the Confederate side Postmaster-General Reagan an- 
nounced, that his Government would not interfere with exist- 
ing contracts between the United States and carriers of the 
mails ; that until ready to take full control of the Post-Office, 
business would go on as usual, and bade the postmasters ren- 
der accounts, and pay all money to the United States as 
heretofore. He could not have done otherwise, for his depart- 
ment was neither organized nor manned. To obtain men 
skilled in the administration of postal affairs a secret agent 
went to Washington and lured away the Chief Clerk to the 
Postmaster-General, the Chief Clerk in the Auditor's office, 
the chief of the bond division, the head of the dead letter 
office, the head of the finance bureau, and the third Assistant 
Postmaster-General. They came bringing with them copies 


of all forms, and maps of the postal routes. With tlie help of 1 
these men the department was organized and Reagan made 
known, "by proclamation, that on the last day of May postmas- 
ters must forward to Washington their final accounts, vouch- 
ers, postage stamps and stamped envelopes belonging to the 
"United States, and thenceforth collect no postage on letters 
to or from the United States. Until stamps were provided 
Confederate postage must be prepaid in money."* 

And now the Postmaster-General of the United States 
acted, and by an order, to take effect on May thirty-first, 
stopped postal service to the ten States then in the Confed- 
eracy. Letters addressed to persons in those States were to 
be forwarded to the dead letter office; those for persons in 
West Virginia, to Wheeling, f 

A way around this obstacle was quickly provided by Adams 
Express Company which advertised to deliver letters in the 
Confederate States. Enclose, it said, each letter in a United 
States stamped envelope, an ordinary envelope with a stamp 
affixed will not do. Bring it to the Express Company which, 
for a fee of twenty-five cents, will deliver it at any point 
iwhere there is a branch office, or will pay the Confederate 
postage and mail it as near as possible to the place of address. 
At places in the United States where the Adams Express has 
no office, letters should be mailed under cover to the Company 
at ISTew York or Louisville. $ 

Against this means of communication with the Confeder- 
ates, ItcClellan protested to the Postmaster-General. He 
replied that intercourse between the two sections was under 
military control ; that whether the Express Company should, 
or should not, continue its business was not for him to de- 
cide. If it were continued, and letters were brought to 
Louisville or elsewhere in loyal States, and mailed, postage 
prepaid, he could not stop them. Indeed, he had no ob- 
jection to the Express Company gathering letters in the 
South and bringing them to Louisville or Cincinnati to be 

*W. F. McCaleb, The Origin of the Post Office Department of the 
Confederacy, American Historical Review, vol. xii, No. 1, October 1906. 
t Executive Documents No. 4, 37th Congress, 1st Session. 
$ Advertised in New York Herald, August, 1861. 


mailed to places in the North if stamps for postage were 
obtained from offices in loyal states, "nor vice versa." But 
if letters from the States where postal service had been dis- 
continued came to Louisville with United States stamps on 
them they would be stopped, because stamps or stamped 
envelopes obtained from offices in such States where they had 
been fraudulently seized were not recognized.* 

The practice was soon ended. ,The President, by authority 
of an Act of Congress, f issued a proclamation, declared the 
people of the ten States, save those in West Virginia, in a 
state of insurrection, forbade all commercial intercourse with 
them, and ordered that all goods and chattels, wares and mer- 
chandise coming from or going to any of the rebellious States, 
by land or by water, be seized, together with the vessels or 
vehicles in which they were carried. $ Then the Postmaster- 
General forbade the Express Company to carry letters to and 
from the South, ordered the arrest of its agents or other per- 
sons who received them for transmission, and directed that 
the letters be sent to Washington. 

Despite these orders, correspondence was still carried on 
by means of the American Letter Express Company, char- 
tered by Tennessee to transmit letters and printed matter to 
and from all points North and South. Persons sending let- 
ters North were directed to use two envelopes. On the inner 
must be the name and address of the correspondent in the 
North; on the outer the words "American Letter Express 
Company, Nashville, Tennessee." On the outer envelope o 
letters sent from the North should be the words "American 
Letter Express Company, Louisville, Eentucky," and inside, 
each half ounce letter fifteen cents in cash. United States 
stamps, said the advertisement, will not do. "Our arrange- 
ments are such that we send and receive mails daily by special 
messenger." || 

A lawful means of communication was by flag of truce 

* Postmaster-General to General McClellan, Philadelphia Ledger, 
June 29, 1861. 
t Act of July 13, 1861. 
$ August 16, 1861. 
Order of August 21, 1861. 
|[ Advertisement in Richmond Enquirer, August 23, 1861. 


which left Norfolk for Fortress Monroe almost daily. Gen- 
eral Huger, it was announced, had ordered that each letter 
must be written on one sheet of paper of ordinary letter size, 
must not contain any reference to military or political affairs, 
should have enclosed three or five cents, and be addressed 
via Norfolk and Flag of Truce. All would be examined 
by both United States and Confederate authorities and, if 
inoffensive, would go through.* 

Mail for the Pacific Coast, in days before the war, was 
carried from Memphis and St. Louis to Fort Smith on the 
western boundary of Arkansas, and thence by the coaches of 
the Overland Mail Company to Preston in Texas, to El 
Paso, across [New Mexico Territory to Fort Yuma near the 
mouth of the G-ila Kiver, and by way of Los Angeles to San 
Francisco. But Texas seceded, the route was blocked, and 
in the last days of Buchanan's term Congress empowered the 
President to discontinue the Overland Mail by the Grreat 
Southern Route and arrange for its conveyance six times a 
week over the Central Koute from some place on the Missouri 
Eiver to Placerville, California. Within ten days after the 
passage of the Act the arrangement was made, horses and 
coaches were transferred as quickly as possible, and on the 
first of July mail coaches left Placerville and St. Joseph. 
Important letters, important news printed on the thinnest of 
thin paper, were still carried across the plains in the pouches 
of the Pony Express riders. But a far speedier means of 
communication was soon provided. The Atlantic and Pacific 
Telegraph Company, a branch of the Western Union, was 
stringing its wire from Omaha and Salt Lake City westward 
to the coast Hundreds of oxen and wagons, hundreds of 
beeves for food, hundreds of men armed for defense against 
the Indians were needed to carry on the work, but such was 
the energy displayed that in less than four months after the 
first poles were set up in Omaha and Salt Lake City the first 
through message from California to the East was sent from 
Sacramento to Lincoln at Washington, f 

* Savannah. Eepublican, January 3, 1862. 

f Philadelphia Inquirer, October 21, 1861, New York Tribune, July 27, 
1861, October 26, 27, IStt. 



Mingled with the matter carried by mail and express were 
bundles of disloyal newspapers published in many cities, 
towns and villages in the North. Before the battle of Bull 
Kun the people tolerated these sheets with singular patience, 
for the liberty of the press must be respected. After the 
battle their seditious articles, their savage attacks on the Gov- 
ernment, on. the soldiers and what many of them called "the 
present unholy war," were looked on as treasonable, as giv- 
ing aid and comfort to the enemy ? and a vigorous campaign 
of suppression was waged by the Government and the people. 
All over the country from Maine to California mobs raided 
the offices of scores of "malignant little traitorous sheets," 
threw type and presses into the streets, and made bonfires 
with the furniture and paper. The Secretary of War sup- 
pressed some and imprisoned editors and owners in Fort 
Lafayette. Generals of the army forbade the circulation, 
distribution, sale, within their departments, of the most offen- 
sive and sent troops to seize type and paper and stop their 
publication. The Postmaster-General closed the mails to 
many because of their incendiary articles, their treasonable 
hostility to the Government. United States Marshals entered 
express offices and railroad depots and destroyed bundles of 
newspapers in transit. Grand Jury after Grand Jury pre- 
sented lists of journals and asked for their suppression. The 
juries were aware that free governments allowed liberty of 
speech and of the press to the utmost limit. But there was a 
limit. If a person in a fortress, or an army, were to preach 
to the soldiers submission to the enemy would he be toler- 
ated ? Tet wherein, would he be worse than a citizen who, iul 
the midst of formidable rebellion, tells the conspirators they 
are right, encourages them to go on, and condemns all efforts 
to put down rebellion by what he calls "an unholy war V 9 

Far more troublesome than disloyal newspapers were dis- 
loyal citizens living in loyal States and giving aid and com- 
fort in every way they could to the people and Government of 
the rebellious States. ISTo sooner had the President issued 
his call for troops, and their movement to "Washington begun, 
than the mob in Baltimore attacked them on their passage 
through that city, burned bridges and sought in every way to 


hinder arid prevent the gathering of an army for defense of 
the Capital. Such violence required summary treatment. 
The case was urgent, pressing, admitted of no delay. There- 
fore the President authorized General Scott to suspend the 
writ of habeas corpus if at any point in, or near, any mili- 
tary line hetween Philadelphia and Washington he met with, 
such resistance as made suspension necessary. Scott 
promptly invested General Patterson, commanding the De- 
partment of Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, General 
Butler commanding the Department of Annapolis, and Colo- 
nel Mansfield that of "Washington, with like authority, and 
summary arrests began.* The Constitution provides that 
"the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be sus- 
pended, unless in cases of rebellion or invasion the public 
safety may require it." Rebellion existed; public safety 
clearly required suspension ; the Constitution was silent as to 
whether the legislative or executive power should order sus- 
pension; the legislative power was not in session, so the 
President took the responsibility. His right so to do was 
quickly tested. 

One night in May, John Merryman, living near Cockeys- 
ville, was visited by an armed force acting under military 
orders, was taken into custody, conveyed to Port McHenry 
and imprisoned without warrant from any lawful authority. 
General George Cadwalader, in command of the fort, was at 
once served with a writ of habeas corpus, issued by Chief 
Justice Taney, summoning him to appear at the United States 
Court House in Baltimore and have with him the body of 
John Merryman. The prisoner had been arrested because 
he was a lieutenant in a secession company which had in its 
possession arms belonging to the United States, because it in- 
tended to use them against the Government, because Merry- 
man had been drilling his men, and because he had uttered 

* Official Records, Series 2, vol. i, pp. 566, 567, 568. May 10, by 
proclamation, the commander of the Union forces on the Florida coast 
was authorized to suspend the writ on the Islands of Key West, Tortu- 
gas and Santa Rosa. July 2, Scott was empowered to suspend it on 
any military line "between New York City and Washington, and October 
14, between Bangor and Washington. Official Records, Series 2, vol. ii, 
pp. 19, 20, 111. 


disloyal sentiments.* General Cadwalader in his return 
stated these charges, announced that he was duly authorized 
by the President to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, re- 
fused to bring Merryman before the Court, and wrote to 
Washington, f The Assistant Adjutant General replied that 
he must hold in secure confinement, when committed to his 
charge, all persons implicated in treasonable practices, and in 
making returns to writs of habeas corpus "by whomsoever is- 
sued/' must respectfully decline to produce the prisoner. $ 

General Cadwalader having refused to produce his pris- 
oner, Taney issued a writ of attachment which the Marshal 
attempted to serve. He went to the outer gate of the fort, 
sent in his name, was told that the General had no answer to 
make, was not allowed to serve the writ, and so reported to 
the Chief Justice who then wrote and filed an opinion in the 
office of the clerk of the Court. In substance it was that the 
President could not suspend the writ of habeas corpus, nor 
authorize any military officer to do so. 

The arrest of Merryman was soon followed by that of the 
Baltimore Police Commissioners. Late in June General 
Scott wrote Banks, who had succeeded Cadwalader, that it 
was evident that the disloyal citizens of Baltimore, if not 
more numerous, were certainly far more active and effective 
than the Union men, that in the opinion of the Secretary of 
War such a blow should be struck as would carry consterna- 
tion into the ranks of the secessionists, and that he should at 
once arrest the members of the Police Board, and the Marshal 
of Police and appoint a Provost Marshal to cause the police 
law to be duly executed. At dawn on the morning of the 
twenty-seventh Marshal Kane was arrested and taken to Fort 
McHenry, and the act and the appointment of a Provost Mar- 
shal were duly made known by proclamation later in the 
day. [] 

Thereupon the Police Commissioners met, protested 

* Official Records, Series 2, vol. i, pp. 574-575. 

tlbid., p. 576. 

$ Ibid., pp. 576-577. 

Tbid., p. 621. 

B Ibid., pp. 620, 624. 625. 


against this arbitrary exercise of power not warranted by 
the Constitution of the United States ; nor by the laws of 
Maryland, and put the officers and men of the police force 
off duty.* In short the force was disbanded. July first 
the four members of the Board, each an open and avowed 
secessionist, were arrested about break of day and taken to 
Port McHenry. f 

On the seventeenth of September the Maryland legisla- 
ture was to assemble at Frederick. Convinced that its pur- 
pose was to pass an ordinance of secession and put the State 
out of the Union, General Banks was instructed by the 
Secretary of "War to arrest all members suspected of dis- 
loyalty before the legislature met. Some were taken as 
they passed through Baltimore. Some were arrested in 
Frederick. $ The London Saturday Review declared their 
arrest, "before they had had time to meet, without any form 
of law or prospect of trial, merely because President Lincoln 
conceived they might, in their legislative capacity, do acts at 
variance with his interpretation of the American Constitu- 
tion, was as perfect an act of despotism as can be conceived. 
It was a coup d'etat in every essential feature." At the 
same time arrests were made of the editors of the Baltimore 
Exchange and the South, two violently disloyal newspapers. 

By the end of the month Fort Lafayette was crowded and 
an officer was sent to Fort Warren, in Boston Harbor, to 
prepare it for political prisoners. Should a writ of habeas 
corpus be served he was to answer he deeply regretted that, 
during the present political trouble he could not comply. 
Should an attempt be made to serve a writ of attachment he 
was to resist with all the force at his command. || Scores 
of others were then in confinement in the Old Capitol Prison 
at Washington, at Camp Chase in Ohio, at Cairo and in the 
Military Prisons at St. Louis and at Alton. Some were 
spies, some had forwarded recruits to the Confederate Army, 

* Official Records, Series 2, vol. i, pp. 626-627. 

f Ibid., pp. 622-623. 

$ Ibid., Series 1, vol. v, pp. 194, 195, 196, 197. 

Ibid., Series 2, vol. i, p. 586. 

|| Ibid., vol. ii, p. 111. 



or corresponded with the rebels, or uttered disloyal senti- 
ments, or displayed Confederate flags, or given information 
to the rebels, or assassinated Union pickets, or engaged in 
contraband trade, or edited disloyal newspapers. 

In Fort Lafayette, if the statements made by the Balti- 
more Police Commissioners in a letter of complaint to the 
President were true, the prisoners were confined in four 
casemates and two small battery rooms. The casemates 
were fourteen by twenty-four feet, and eight feet high, and 
had wooden floors. In one, twenty-three prisoners, most of 
them in irons, were without beds, bedding or any convenient 
necessaries. In each of two other casemates ten, and in the. 
fourth nine, were imprisoned. From six at night to six in the 
morning the doors were shut and though all the windows, 
which were small, were open, it was almost impossible to 
sleep because of the foul and unwholesome air. The battery 
rooms had brick floors and were much encumbered with 
guns and carriages. In one were thirty-four and in the other 
thirty-five prisoners. Food was the commonest and coarsest 
soldiers' rations and ill cooked. All water was salt save that 
for drinking and that was unfit to use.* 

With the opening of 1862 the attitude of the Government 
towards its prisoners of State underwent a great change and 
a general jail delivery followed the issuing of Executive 
Order Number One relating to political prisoners, f Stanton 
drew it and began with a long review of conditions imme- 
diately following the attack on Sumter. The outbreak, he 
said, of the insurrection was attended with great confusion. 
Disloyalty, before unsuspected, became bold, and treason; 
astonished the whole world by bringing into the field mili- 
tary forces greater in number than the standing army of 
the United States. Every department of government was 
paralyzed by treason. Defection appeared in the Senate and 
House of [Representatives, in the Cabinet Federal Judges 
and Ministers and Consuls, returned from foreign countries, 
entered the service of the Confederate States on land and 

* Official Records, Series 2, vol. i, pp. 649-650. The letter is dated 
October 8, 1861. 
t Ibid., vol. ii, pp. 221, 223. February 14, 1862. 


sea. Officers kigli in command In the army and the navy 
deserted their posts to accept command in the insurrectionary 
forces. Treason was flagrant in the Revenue and Post-Office 
services, in the Territorial Governments, in the Indian 
Service. Not only generals, judges, legislators and officers 
but whole States rushed into rebellion. Even in loyal States 
political combinations and secret organizations furthered the 
work of disunion. 

Congress had made no provision for such an emergency. 
Municipal authorities were powerless and inactive. Judicial 
machinery seemed to be organized to embarrass the Govern- 
ment. In this state of affairs the President felt in duty 
bound to use the extraordinary powers with which he is 
clothed, called into service the military and naval forces, di- 
rected measures to be taken to prevent the use of the Post- 
Office for treasonable correspondence, instituted a blockade, 
suspended the writ of habeas corpus and caused persons repre- 
sented to be engaged in treasonable practices to be arrested. 
But a favorable change in public opinion had since occurred. 
Apprehension of public danger and facilities for treasonable 
practices had diminished with the passions which prompted 
the heedless to adopt them, and in view of these facts the 
President now ordered that all prisoners of State, political 
prisoners in military custody, be released on subscribing a 
parole not to give aid or comfort to the enemy. 

The outburst of patriotism which followed the defeat at 
Bull Run, which caused the suppression of newspapers and 
sent disloyal men to prison, was not without its effect on 
political parties. Never before had the men of that gen- 
eration been so aroused, for never before in their time had 
the life of the Republic been at stake. In the presence of 
the one great issue before the country the differences which 
parfed men into Democrats and Republicans seemed mean 
and trivial. When men of every sort of political faith, it 
was said, were hurrying to the front to fight for the Union 
it wa*s time for every loyal citizen to forget party platforms, 
party allegiance and devote all his energy, if not his life, to 
the preservation of the Republic. The only platform on 
which loyal citizens could stand was the Union, now and 


forever, one and indivisible. In the coming State elections 
the plain duty of voters was to elect not Democrats, not 
Kepublicans, but true Union men. The feeling was spon- 
taneous in each loyal State and steps were quickly taken to 
act in accordance with it. Four days after the battle of 
Bull Eun the Eepublican State Central Committee of Ohio 
xesolved that it was the duty of good citizens to put aside 
party differences and unite in support of the Government; 
that it was not expedient, therefore, to call a State Con- 
vention of the Eepublican Party; and invited the Demo- 
cratic State Committee to join in a delegate convention to 
nominate State officers and avoid a partisan contest.* Every 
Eepublican newspaper in Ohio, save Gidding's Ashtabula 
Sentinel approved the plan, f But the Democrats refused 
the invitation, held their own convention and made their 
own nominations; recommended to the legislatures of the 
several States to appoint delegates to a national convention 
to settle present difficulties, restore peace and preserve the 
Union; condemned the President for his late attempt to 
suspend the writ of habeas corpus; and were denounced as 
secessionists, traitors, tories by their political opponents. A 
citizen suggested the epithet Copperhead. "I see," he wrote, 
"that some of the editors supporting the ticket lately nom- 
inated at Columbus are not pleased with the names sug- 
gested, as secessionists, traitors, tories. The Confederacy 
at the outset symbolized itself in the figure of a rattlesnake. 
Would it not, therefore, be quite proper that its allies should 
select from the animal kingdom their heraldry and since 
the rattlesnake's mate, or copperhead, is in all respects a 
fitting representative we suggest that the term Copperhead 
be applied to the aforesaid party." $ Despite the rebuff, 
the Union Party went on with its work, nominated its candi- 
dates and held ratification meetings in Columbus, Sandusky, 
Toledo, in all the cities and towns of importance in the State. 
In ISTew York the people in county after county, without 
concerted action, demanded a Union Convention. Convinced, 

* July 25, 1861. Cincinnati Commercial, August 14, 1861. 
tlbid., August 22, 1861. 
4 Ibid., August 17, 1861. 


said the call for one of them, that our beloved country ig 
to "be saved from destruction by the people., not by parties, we 
suggest the importance of combining, irrespective of party, 
for action at the coming election.* Delegates should be 
appointed to meet in convention at Syracuse on the tenth 
of September and nominate a State ticket. As in Ohio, the 
Bepublicans invited the Democrats to join them in selecting 
Union candidates, f As in Ohio, the Democrats declined 
the invitation and held their own meeting. $ The Union 
State Committee resolved that a convention of the people 
having "been called, solely with reference to the support and 
vindication of the Union, the Constitution and enforcement 
of the laws, and because in war, but most especially in civil 
war, all parties and factions should give place to united 
support of the Government, Union men of the State were 
invited to meet in convention at Syracuse and nominate State 
officers. The convention disclaimed any intention to found 
a new party, to destroy the organization of any existing 
party, or alienate any man from his political faith. Its 
sole purpose was, in this hour of national peril, to proclaim 
devotion to the Constitution and the Union of the States, 
maintain and perpetuate them at all hazards, at whatever 
cost in blood and treasure, and prosecute the war with un- 
abating vigor to the end. The Eepublican Convention met 
at the same place on the same days and adopted the Union 
ticket with the exception of one name. 

Republicans in New Jersey declared they would abandon 
their organization and take up any good Union man. Party- 
ism, it was said, was gone to seed. A great Union meeting 
at Newark attended by delegates from near-by towns opposed 
a party nomination as unpatriotic, harmful to public good, 
favored a People's Union movement in all the States and 
appointed a committee to start the ball rolling. |) County 
Conventions in Pennsylvania placed Union tickets in the 

* New York Tribune, September 5, 1861. 
tNew York Herald, August 7, 1861. 
llbid., August 9, 1861. 
Ibid., September 5, 1861. 
H Ibid., September 21, 1861. 

1861 GLOOM. 

field.* A People's Party pledged to support the Constitu- 
tion and the flag of the Union against all enemies, open or 
covert, and give each of the old parties a fair share of offices, 
was organized in Philadelphia. To weaken or divide the 
support of Government by reviving party issues was as dan- 
gerous as to obstruct the Government by direct opposition, 
A Union ticket was elected at Wilmington, in Delaware, and 
Union no-party State conventions were held in Maryland;, 
in Vermont and at St. Paul. 

The weeks following the announcement by President 
Lincoln of his policy towards the South, and the seeming 
failure of the Administration to even attempt to carry it 
out were weeks of gloom in the business world. People of 
small means "began to economize. Sales began to fall off 
in the shops and no one knew what was coming. Distrust 
of the future, it was said, paralyzes the stock market and 
business of every sort is depressed. The future is a blank. 
ISTo one knows, or pretends to know, what a month will bring 
forth. Capitalists fear to use their money. Merchants cur- 
tail their credits. Shopkeepers are chary of increasing their 
indebtedness. Meantime the secession movement is steadily 
and fearfully advancing, and the Government is passive. 
Not a word is uttered concerning its policy and not a step is 
taken to stay the progress of the opposing power, f 

!N"ever before in this country has such a feeling of un- 
certainty, of alternate hope and fear, prevailed in the busi- 
ness community. The importer, looking at the needs of 
the country, sees a rich harvest of profits if only the usual 
laws of the trade prevail, but hesitates when the cry of dis- 
union and civil war threatens ruin. Manufacturers, sure 
of a fine home trade if only the country can be pacified, halt 
and hesitate as the din of revolution greets their ears. !N"o 
business man knows whether to contract or expand, to take 
credit or to give it, to buy or to sell It would be a relief to 
know what is in store for us that business men may shape 
their course accordingly. $ If ? in the opinion of moneyed 

* Philadelphia Inquirer, September 16, 24, October 2, 1861. 
f Philadelphia Ledger, March 26, 1861. 
$New York Tribune, March 23, 1861. 


men, the Border States did not secede, the war would be 
short. The Confederacy could not long contend against the 
power of the North backed by that of Virginia, Kentucky, 
North Carolina, Missouri and Arkansas. If, on the other 
hand, the Border States did leave the Union, the war would 
be long, no interest would be paid on Southern bonds and 
all the Western banks whose circulation was secured by de- 
posits of these bonds must go to the wall. "No sooner, there- 
fore, did the Governors of the Border States send forth their 
defiant answers to the President's call for troops than a panic 
began. Bonds of Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri were 
thrown on the market at [New York to be sold at any price, 
and during the week which followed the fall of Sumter, 
Virginia sixes fell from sixty-eight to thirty-six; Tennessee 
sixes from seventy to forty-one; Missouri sixes from fifty- 
eight to thirty-nine, and no speculator would give more than, 
fifty cents on the dollar for a note of any bank in the Con- 

Because of the cheapness at which these bonds had always 
sold banks in the Western States used them as security for 
the circulation of their notes. To found a bank under the 
free banking laws of the West it was but necessary to leave 
with the State Treasurer bonds of other States as security 
for the notes to be issued. No deposits, no reserve were 
required; but, without capital and without business a bank 
might put forth its notes provided they were secured by the 
deposit of some State bonds. Thus it came about that in 
Illinois, in 1861, there were one hundred and ten banks 
with a combined circulation of thirteen million three hundred 
thousand dollars secured by the deposit of thirteen million 
five hundred thousand dollars in State bonds. Nine million 
of this great sum was in bonds of Missouri, Tennessee, Vir- 
ginia, Lousiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia 
and Kentucky.* When, therefore, after Arkansas seceded, 
after the people of North Carolina elected delegates to a 
convention that was sure to put her out of the Union, after 
Tennessee made her offensive and defensive league with the 

York Tribune, June 14, 1861. 


Confederacy, after Kentucky declared herself neutral and 
it was certain that the referendum about to be taken in 
Virginia would result in popular approval of the ordinance 
of secession, a currency panic swept over the West. Thirty- 
seven Illinois banks failed. Before another year went by 
the number reached eighty-nine. Four went out of business 
and the circulation of the few left in the State was but four 
hundred thousand dollars. The ruined banks having no 
funds with which to redeem their notes their bonds deposited 
with the State Treasurer were sold at auction for what they 
would bring and they brought but little. Those of thirty- 
eight went for sixty cents and those of twenty-five for prices 
ranging from sixty to seventy cents on the dollar. 

Twenty-seven banks failed in Indiana and thirty-nine in 
Wisconsin. There the legislature, hoping to stop the 
slaughter of bonds held as security for bank notes, authorized 
the suspension of specie payment and the notes at once fell 
to a discount of twenty-five per cent. The best banks made 
haste to exchange deposits of bonds of Southern States for 
deposits of Northern State bonds ; others withdrew a part of 
their bonds, reduced their circulation and in a few weeks 
the contraction amounted to over seven hundred thousand 
dollars, or more than one-sixth of the currency afloat. Her 
discredited bank notes then passed, if any one would take 
them, at a discount of sixty per cent. 

To a people depressed by the opening of the war, to a 
financial world in confusion, to a commercial world which 
had suffered great losses, the Government now found it nec- 
essary to appeal for a sum of money larger than had ever 
before been asked at any one time, and nearly three times 
greater than the national debt. 

Congress, having assembled on the fourth of July, was 
told by the Secretary of the Treasury that the Government 
would need for the current fiscal year at least three hundred 
and eighteen million dollars; that two hundred and forty 
millions should be raised by borrowing and not less than 
eighty millions by taxation; that of the eighty millions at 
least twenty should be obtained by a direct tax or by internal 
taxes or by both, and that the property of persons in insur- 


rection, or giving aid and comfort to the enemy, should be 
made to contribute to the cost of the war. Congress acted 
with great promptness and before a fortnight had passed the 
Secretary was authorized to borrow two hundred and fifty 
millions on the credit of the United States. 

As evidence of indebtedness he might offer coupon or 
registered bonds bearing not more than seven per cent in- 
terest, or Treasury notes of three kinds. Some, in denomina- 
tions not less than fifty dollars, were to bear seven and three- 
tenths per cent interest. Some, in denominations under 
fifty dollars, were to bear no interest and be payable on 
demand. These were at once called "demand notes" and 
were limited in amount to not more than fifty millions of 
dollars. Some were to bear three and sixty-five one-hun- 
dredths per cent interest ; be redeemed a year from date and 
could not be issued in denominations under ten dollars. 
Finally the Secretary might issue twenty million dollars in 
notes payable at any time, not exceeding one year from date, 
with six per cent interest. This was an additional grant to 
serve the pressing needs of the hour and raised the amount 
of Treasury notes which might be put out to two hundred 
and seventy millions. * 

A revenue act provided for an increase of duties, for a 
direct tax of twenty millions of dollars and for a tax of three 
per cent on income in excess of eight hundred dollars, save 
so much as was derived from securities of the United States. 
This was taxed one and a half per cent. Americans living 
abroad must pay five per cent on incomes from stocks, securi- 
ties and other property in our country owned by them. 

No sooner did Congress adjourn than Chase hastened to 
IsTew York and with much difficulty and some delay induced 
the banks to associate and, with those of Boston and Phila- 
delphia, loan the government fifty million dollars to be 
repaid from the sale of Treasury notes. Should all go well 
another fifty millions was to be advanced in October and a 
third in December. They were not deposited with the banks, 
but were to be sold to the people. To the people, therefore, 

* Act of July 17, 1861. 


Chase made an earnest appeal to buy., and subscription agen- 
cies were established in all the large cities. On the August 
day when the books were opened in New York, sixteen 
thousand dollars 9 worth were sold. But day by day sub- 
scriptions grew and by the end of the month one million 
three hundred and fifty thousand dollars' worth of the seven- 
thirties had been taken. As the character of the loan became 
known people of every walk in life came forward until 
clergymen, women of means, merchants, draymen, mechanics, 
clerks, men and women of the humble sort stood in the line 
before the subtreasnry. 

"No Government securities of any sort were then owned, 
or had ever been seen by men or women of scanty means. 
Now, when they were urged to buy at least one seven-thirty 
note, it seemed expedient that they should know what it 
looked like. One day in September, therefore, there ap- 
peared in several newspapers in New York City a facsimile 
of a hundred-dollar note with its five coupons.* Newspaper^ 
everywhere were informed that engraved blocks could be 
purchased from a certain firm in New York for two dollars 
and were urged to procure and use one for the information 
of the people. 'Few did so. 

When the time came for the banks to use their option 
to subscribe for the second issue of fifty millions they took 
the notes, endeavored to sell them to the people over their 
own counters, and the Treasury agencies were closed. In 
November they agreed to advance a third fifty millions, but 
required Chase to give them six per cent bonds at such a 
price as would yield them seven per cent interest, f 

It was now quite clear, and it was made clearer still by 
the Secretary's report to Congress when it met in December, 
that Chase had reached the end of his resources. That the 
Government must soon be forced to resort to an issue of 
Treasury notes, made legal tender and redeemable or con- 
vertible after the war, was a belief that grew stronger day 
after day. Such an issue would cause a general suspension 

*New York Herald, September 14, 1861, New York Tribune, Septem- 
ber 14, 1861, Philadelphia Inquirer, September 17, 1861. 
t Oberholtzer, Jay Cooke, vol. i, p, 166. 


of specie payments. The question then became when should 
such a suspension take place. Should it be when the banks 
still had specie and before the people had taken alarm at 
the increase of paper money, or should it be deferred until 
the people had withdrawn their specie and begun to hoard 
it. Hoarding, indeed, had already begun and, unable to 
stand the strain, the New York City banks at a meeting on 
Saturday evening, December twenty-eighth, agreed to imme- 
diate suspension of specie payments and on Monday those 
of Boston, Albany, Philadelphia, Cleveland, a few in Pitts- 
burgh and the Government followed, and demand notes were 
no longer paid in specie. 

Congress, in February, met the crisis by directing Chase 
to issue demand notes to the amount of ten million dollars,* 
and by the passage of the first of the famous legal tender 
acts, f Under it the Secretary might issue one hundred and 
fifty million dollars of United States notes in denominations 
not under five dollars which should bear no interest, be law- 
ful money and a legal tender for all private and public debts 
save duties on imports and interest on the national debt, 
which must be paid in coin and which might be exchanged for 1 
six per cent* bonds redeemable after five years and payable 
at the end of twenty years from the date of issue. The notes 
were called by the people greenbacks. The bonds, limited inl 
amount to five hundred million dollars, were known as Five- 

In June dire necessity forced Chase to ask for another 
issue of one hundred and fifty millions of greenbacks. Daily 
receipts from customs, he said, were but two hundred and 
thirty thousand dollars and from the sale of Five-Twenties 
but one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, while the cost of 
the war was greater than one million dollars each day. There 1 
was great need, also, for notes of smaller denominations than 
five dollars. Payments to soldiers and to public creditors 
required a large amount of coin to satisfy fractional de- 
mands. To get the coin was not always possible. Even 
when obtained and paid to the soldiers it passed at once to 

* Act of February 12, 1862. 
t Act of February 25, 1862. 


the hands of sutlers and disappeared from circulation. Con- 
gress granted the request, authorized the issue of one hundred 
and fifty million dollars of legal tenders and required thirty- 
five millions to he in denominations between one and five 

Greatly to the regret of Chase the Five-Twenties were 
taken hut very sparingly. The people took the greenbacks, 
but did not exchange them for the bonds. He turned, there- 
fore, once more to Jay Cooke and made him sole agent for 
the sale of the bonds. 45 " Cooke accepted the office and at 
once appealed to the great mass of the people. Men were 
sent over the country to distribute circulars, put up hand- 
bills in hotels, railroad depots, court houses, post-offices, on 
telegraph poles and on trunks of trees and to urge bankers, 
brokers and editors to do their best to sell the bonds, f Sub- 
agents were appointed to sell on commission, editors were 
induced to keep the loan constantly before the people and 
advertisements were inserted in newspapers telling why 
the bonds were called Five-Twenties, pointing out that, as 
the interest was payable in gold, the yield at the then pre- 
mium on gold would be almost eight per cent, and showing 
that the ample provision made by customs dues, excise stamps 
and internal revenue for the payment of interest and princi- 
pal made investment in the loan safe, profitable and wise. $ 

Gold, having ceased to circulate, became merchandise, was 
bought and sold, and in January, February and March the 
premium rose to one and a half. In June a report that 
Secretary Chase would ask for a further issue of one hundred 
and fifty millions of demand Treasury notes caused the price 
of gold to rise steadily until at the end of the month it 
reached one hundred and nine. Silver, which had followed it, 
then stood at one hundred and five, and the petty buying and 1 
selling of daily life was thrown into confusion. Small change 
disappeared as if by magic. Butchers and grocers and small 

* Oberholtzer, Jay Cooke, vol. i, pp. 218-220. 
flbicU, p- 249. 

t Ibid., pp. 235, 236. For the debate in Congress on the legal tender 
acts see Spaulding, Legal Tender Paper Money. 


tradesmen could give no change when a purchase amounted to 
less than a dollar, and travelers in omnibuses and horse- 
cars paid their fares with nickel cents. To relieve the situa- 
tion restaurants and eating-houses issued shin plasters, and 
five, ten, twenty-five, fifty and seventy-five cent tickets "became 
common. July tenth gold rose suddenly to one hundred and 
seventeen, silver to one hundred and ten and nickel cents to 
one hundred and three. Cents then disappeared, stage and 
horse-car lines and the Union Ferry Company in New York] 
issued tickets and refused to sell less than a dollar's worth. 
Eestaurants by that time received each other's tickets. It 
was therefore suggested that stage and horse-ear companies 
do the same and issue shin plasters good on any line, for it 
was a great hardship that a citizen who had occasion to 
travel on several lines should be forced to invest a dollar 
in the tickets of each. Postage stamps, pasted on a sheet of 
paper in suchwise that it could be folded, were now recom- 
mended. The time having come when some substitute for 
money must be used, it is better, it was said, to have some- 
thing other than the shin plasters of a man who keeps a 
restaurant to-day and may be out of business to-morrow. 
Stamps have real value and cannot be overissued. Shin 
plasters have nothing but the credit of the issuers behind 
them. Acting on this suggestion a few shopkeepers posted 
in their windows notices which read: "Postage stamps re- 
ceived for goods and given in change for current money." 
Sometimes, if a customer paid in specie he was allowed 
the benefit of the premium, If he were given silver small 
change the shop took the benefit of the premium. Some one 
suggested that instead of charging so much a pound for 
coffee and tea, sugar and butter, meat and bacon, so much 
weight of coffee, so much of tea, so much of bacon should 
be sold for one dollar, thus doing away with the use of small 
change. Another proposed that business men agree to en- 
hance the value of silver pieces. If they would receive half 
a dime for six cents, a ten-cent piece for twelve cents, a 
quarter for thirty cents, and a half for sixty cents, silver 
would come again into circulation. As things were, it was 
said, he who has no specie is poor. No matter how hot the 


weather lie must walk iii the burning sun, because the omni- 
bus driver will not change a bill. He may be parched by 
thirst, but he cannot buy a glass of soda water, because he 
lacks the change. In this city thousands and tens of thou- 
sands of persons have been forced to walk to and from their 
places of business because they will not pay the ruinous 
prices demanded by brokers and bankers for the specie with 
which to pay the fares. 

Newark City Council ordered change notes to the amount 
of fifty thousand dollars to be issued in denominations of 
from ten to fifty cents. The Common Council of Albany 
authorized the Comptroller of the City to issue fifty thousand 
dollars in denominations of from ten to seventy-five cents 
and deposit the money received in exchange for the bills at 
four and a half per cent interest. Troy and Jersey City 
soon followed these examples. 

Postage stamps, however, were the favorites because they 
could be had at once. Harnden's Express Company sug- 
gested that if stamps must be used in place of coins, they 
should be enclosed in small, neat envelopes especially mado 
for the purpose and not in any sort of envelope as was then 
the custom.* The suggestion was taken up and printers 
in New York, Brooklyn and Jersey City soon had them 
for sale. Some bore the words "Uncle Sam's Change" or 
"Legal Currency" or "Government Currency." Usually 
they were marked "United States Postage Stamps" and de- 
signed to hold ten, thirteen, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, 
thirty, fifty, seventy-five cents in postage stamps, f The 
envelopes were convenient, but faileH to keep the stamps 
clean, for no one ever failed to open the envelopes he re- 
ceived, count the stamps and see that none had once been 
canceled and "washed." 

July seventeenth Congress passed the Currency Act, a 
clause of which provided that from and after August first, 

*New York Herald, July 19, 1862. 

fH. B. Browne, United States Postage Stamps as Necessity War 
Money. Simon Newton, Postage Stamp Currency used during the 
Civil War. Bulletin of the Newport Historical Society, No. 24, January, 


1862, the Secretary of the Treasury should furnish assistant 
treasurers and such designated depositories as he might 
select, postage and other stamps of the United States to be 
exchanged, on application, for United States notes, in sums 
not under five dollars. From and after that day they were 
to he legal tender in payment of all dues to the United States 
under five dollars, and redeemable in amounts of five dollars. 
After August first no private corporation, banking associa- 
tion, firm or individual could lawfully issue, circulate or 
pay out notes, checks, tokens, memoranda or obligations for 
less than a dollar, intended to circulate as money. Any one 
who did so might, on conviction, be fined five hundred dol- 
lars, or be imprisoned for six months, or both. 

No sooner was the passage of the Act known than a rush 
for postage stamps began. In New York the usual daily 
sale of stamps amounted to three thousand dollars. During 
the day following the arrival of the news of the approval of 
the Act by the President the sales rose to ten thousand, and 
on the next to sixteen, and at the end of five days to twenty- 
four thousand dollars.* The Postmaster then gave notice 
that "Purchasers of postage stamps will only be supplied 
with such quantities as they require for use in the prepay- 
ment of postage, as the Post-Office Department is not to 
furnish stamps for currency." f Wot the Postmaster- 
General, but the Secretary of the Treasury, it was explained, 
was to supply postage and other stamps to assistant treasurers 
to be exchanged for United States notes. In good time the 
Secretary of the Treasury would furnish postage stamps to 
be used as currency, and in such form that they could not 
be attached to letters. 

Designs had already been adopted and the new money, in 
four denominations, finely engraved and printed on good 
paper would, in the course of a few weeks, come pouring 
from the Treasury. The five and twenty-five would be 
yellow in color; the ten and fifty green. In the center of the 
five would be a facsimile of a five-cent postage stamp with a 

* New York Tribune, July 22, 1862. 
t Ibid., July 24, 1862. 


"5" in lathe work on either side; in the center of the ten a 
facsimile of a ten-cent stamp with a "10" on either side. 
The twenty-five would have a representation of five five-cent 
stamps partly overlapping beginning on the left and the fifty 
would be five ten-cent stamps arranged in like manner. 

All cities suffered for lack of small change. At Hartford 
the Etna Bank marked each end of its one-dollar hills and 
promised to redeem each half, if any holder cut such a bill 
in two and passed each part for fifty cents. A single half 
would be redeemed in postage stamps ; any two halves by a 
new note. The butchers of Allegheny City circulated shin 
plasters which read: "Pay bearer twenty-five cents in mer- 
chandise." They were prosecuted under a Pennsylvania law 
of 1817 which forbade any unincorporated body, public offi- 
cer, association, partnership or individual to make or issue 
any promissory note or ticket for any amount whatever. 
In Oovington, Xentucky, checks and tickets to be used as 
small change became so alarmingly plentiful that the question 
of the lawfulness of their issue was raised. It was then 
found that such makeshifts were forbidden by law.* The 
City Council of Cincinnati appointed a committee to report 
a plan whereby the city could issue notes or scrip. But no 
way of evading the Ohio law of 1845 forbidding such issues 
could be devised, f 

In Philadelphia, early in July all cash, hand-to-hand busi- 
ness was suspended when small change was required. The 
banks refused to pay it out. If called for by a check they 
gave due bills. $ Shopkeepers and provision dealers in the 
markets could not afford to buy silver to use in making change 
and the whole community began to wonder where to seek 
relief. The Finance Committee of Councils considered 
issuing municipal notes in fractions of a dollar, but were 
advised that the law stood in the way. A few retail mer- 
chants offered to take postage stamps and bank bills at par, 
half dimes at six cents, dimes at twelve cents, quarters at 
thirty, half dollars at sixty and dollars at one hundred and 

* Cincinnati Commercial, November 15, 1862. 

t Ibid., November 5, 1862. 

i Philadelphia Inquirer, July 18, 1863. 


twenty cents, quarter eagles at three hundred and half eagles 
at six hundred cents, but it is not likely many were offered, 
for gold then sold at one hundred and twenty and silver at 
one hundred and fifteen. Driven to desperation, hotels, res- 
taurants and shops issued checks good for certain amounts at 
some future time. These might be useful to their own 
customers, but were of no use, it was said, for general pur- 
poses. Suppose a woman buys three dollars' worth of "fix- 
in's" at a store, offers in payment a five-dollar bill and re- 
ceives two dollars in such checks. "What on earth can she 
do with bits of paper said to be "good for a drink," "good 
for a shine/ 5 "good for a dinner," "good for three cigars" ? 
Moreover, they are unlawful. 

On certain days the Mint exchanged nickel cents for 
Treasury notes. On one of these a crowd began to gather 
before seven o'clock in the morning and by twelve o'clock^ 
the hour fixed, two long lines, one of men and boys, the 
other of women and girls, stretched far up Juniper Street. 
Many carried baskets in which to take home the cents. But 
the supply was exhausted ere half the applicants were accom- 
modated, though no one received more than five dollars' 
worth. Every time the Mints paid out cents the crowd 

Early in September Assistant Treasurer Cisco announced 
that on the eighth of the month he would begin the issue 
of postage note currency; that five- and ten-cent notes 
would be in sheets of twenty; and twenty-five and fifty in 
sheets of sixteen, so perforated that the notes could be 
easily torn apart and that nobody could buy more than five 
dollars' worth at a time. Such was the rush on the appointed 
day that long before noon the stock of sheets was exhausted. 
During several weeks the rush continued. Sometimes no 
notes were to be had. At no time did the supply begin to 
equal the demand, and September was drawing to a close 
before as much as fifteen dollars' worth was sold to any 

Again and again the people went to the subtreasury to 
find on its door a placard stating: fi ~No postage currency 
to-day. It is hoped gentlemen will not interrupt the regular 


business of the office by either verbal or written applications 
winch are equally useless/ 7 * In. Cincinnati where the 
money was disbursed at the Customhouse a notice read: 
"No more postal currency at present. Until more comes, no 
use making inquiry." The crowd was described as tumul- 
tuous and on one occasion became so disorderly that troops 
were sent for to restore order, f 

As the year drew to a close and the postage currency began 
to circulate, the use of postage stamps came rapidly to an 
end. In New York stage and car lines refused to receive 
them and even shin plasters fell under the ban. So dire had 
been the need of small change that the law against the issue 
of such bills and tickets had not been enforced. Now the 
New York Superintendent of Banking called on. the District 
Attorney at Albany to act, and in November he issued a 
warning. The fine was, he said, a thousand dollars, and any 
one hereafter issuing such notes would be prosecuted, as 
would all whose bills were in circulation after the first day 
of December. $ 

A great clamor arose for the redemption of stamps still in 
the hands of the people, but no longer taken as currency. 
To quell the outcry it was ordered that stamps used as cur- 
rency, clean or soiled, if not taken from envelopes, would be 
redeemed after December fifteenth. Amounts under five 
dollars would be cashed when presented. If a greater sum 
was offered the stamps must be enclosed in envelopes to be 
counted and examined lest fraud be attempted. Persons for 
some time past had been buying canceled stamps under 
pretense of making papier mache, or paying ridiculous 
wagers, with the intent, it was found, of presenting them as 
badly soiled. 

Postage currency gave little relief to the need of cents, for 
no piece under five cents in value was issued. New York 
and other cities, therefore, remained flooded with brass and 

* New York Herald, October 4, 1862. 
f Cincinnati Commercial, November 5, 1862. 
$ New York Tribune, November 18, 1862. 

New York Herald, November 25, December 15, 1862; Philadelphia 
Public Ledger, December 16, 1862. 


copper token cents circulated by restaurants, by butchers, 
grocers, barbers, hackmen, newsmen, petty merchants. Some 
were the size of the nickel cent; others of the old coppers. 
Some were stamped Knickerbocker Currency ; others Trades- 
men's Currency; all were commonly called Copperhead 
Currency. Some bore the names and places of business of 
those who issued them, others did not. Not one half, it was 
well known, would ever be redeemed, but the loss the people 
would finally have to bear was more than compensated for 
by the great need they filled. 




THE defeat at Bull Bun, the flight from the field, the 
scene of confusion and disorganization which followed,, con- 
vinced Lincoln at once that a new commander must be found 
for what remained of the beaten ? routed and disheartened 
army. The Government, the people and the troops had lost 
all faith in General McDowell, and while the fugitives from 
Bull Run were still straggling across the Long Bridge into 
Washington an urgent summons went forth to McClellan 
to make over his army to General Kosecranz and come with 
all speed to the Capital. * He was assigned to the Division 
of the Potomac and on the twenty-seventh of July assumed 
command, f 

Never was a general given a harder task. Morale and 
discipline were gone. Disorder and confusion reigned su- 
preme. Thousands of raw troops from the North were 
hurrying to the front. Thousands of three^months men just 
from the front were hurrying home. In the streets of Wash- 
ington were crowds of loafing soldiers ; in the hotels hundreds 
of officers enjoying their ease instead of reporting for duty 
or trying to rally their scattered and bewildered men. E"o 
provost guard, no patrol, no military authority was visible. 
The Grand Army of the Potomac seemed to be in the streets 
of Washington instead of on its way to Richmond. $ He 
found, McOlellan said, no army to command, nothing but a 
collection of regiments cowering on the banks of the Potomac, 
some perfectly raw, others dispirited by defeat. A new 
army must be created and organized for active operations. 
Works of defense capable of being held by small forces must 
be constructed. Equipment and material of war must be 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. ii, p. 753, July 22, 1861. 

flbid., p. 766. 

$ Ibid., vol. v, p. 42. 

W. H. Russell, My Diary North and South, p. 470. 

184; VICTORIES. CHAP. rx. 

gathered and towards the accomplislunent of all these things 
McClellan bent his energies for the next three months. 

Meanwhile the enemy must be held in check. Conld they 
be? Again and again during August, when writing to his 
wife, he gave expression to his fear that Beauregard would 
attack.* Beauregard did not attack and August was almost 
ended before he pushed forward his picket lines a mile and a 
half and took possession of Falls Church, Upton's Hill and 
Munson's Hill. The flag of the Confederacy could then 
be clearly seen from the White House and the Capitol. 

The little advance Beauregard did make, and the failure 
of McClellan to meet it, gave the South great delight. For 
over a week, it was said, the glove of battle has been thrown 
down to McClellan. Tet he has not dared to pick it up. 
Five thousand Confederate troops, for ten days past, have 
been within sight of Washington. The Confederate flag has 
been flying in full view of the Lincoln Cabinet. Dixie has 
been played morning and evening within earshot of the 
Yankee troops. Tet they keep closely within their lines and 
dare not venture out. They have pocketed the insult and 
refused the challenge. The soul of the Yankee is cowed and 
his generals are afraid to trust him outside his breastworks. 
When the Confederates withdrew from Falls Church, 
Upton's Hill and Munson's Hill, late in September, there 
were found on Munson's Hill no signs of guns having been 
mounted, or tents having been pitched, or breastworks con- 
structed ; nothing but a few rifle pits and the remains of a few 
board shacks in which a small force had found shelter. 

November first General Scott, by his own request, was 
placed on the retired list and McClellan became Commander- 
in-Chief of the Armies of the United States. New reasons 
were found for remaining inactive and November went by 
with "-all quiet on the Potomac." In December the roads) 
were bad ; he fell ill with typhoid fever, and it was January* 
before he was able to resume his duties. 

Despite failure to advance, the President and the country 
still had faith in the "Young Napoleon." Nevertheless, 

*McClellan's My Own Story, pp. 84-89. 


while the Union Army remained idle in the camps, the people 
grew restless. The baleful effects of this sloth, it was said, 
is clearly manifest in many ways. It is shown in the in- 
creased boldness of secession sympathizers; in the clamor 
of those who would change the object of the war from the 
saving of the Union to a crusade against slavery; in the 
growing belief abroad that the E"orth could not succeed, and 
that it is high time to recognize the independence of the 
Confederacy. Nothing but military activity, nothing but a 
signal victory over the rebels, and this very soon, will save 
the country from depression, from despair. The essential 
thing for the army to do is to go forward. The essential 
thing for Congress to do is to provide the sinews of war. 
Conviction that the Confederacy will gain its independence 
is general in Europe. 

As January drew to a close even the long-suffering Presi- 
dent lost patience and ordered that, on February twenty- 
second, there be a general advance of all land and naval 
forces against the insurgents. The army in and about For- 
tress Monroe ; the Army of the Potomac ; the army in Western 
Virginia; the army near Mumfordsville, Kentucky; the army 
and flotilla at Cairo and the naval forces in the Gulf of 
Mexico must be ready to move on that day.* 

The army against which McClellan was to move was fast 
falling to pieces. One hundred and forty-eight regiments 
would complete their terms of service in the course of a few 
months and showed little willingness to stay longer at the 
front. It was high time, men said, that those who had stayed 
at home should now come forward and do their part in defense 
of their country. Looking back on conditions as they were 
during the first three months of 1862, the Confederate Sec- 
retary of War recalled how large numbers of soldiers, yearn- 
ing for home, weary of camp life, led by the inactivity of 
the enemy to believe that their services were no longer needed, 
declined to reenlist; how they proposed to turn over the 
hardship of army life to those who, as yet, had not carried a 
musket ; how discipline relaxed ; how efficiency was impaired 

* Official Eecords, Series 1, vol. v, p. 41, January 31, 1862, General 
War Order No. 1. 


and the army rendered unable to reap the fruits of 

Reasons of many sorts were found for the demoralization 
of the Confederate Army so constantly a subject of com- 
plaint. There was a sad absence of enterprise, genius, 
energy in the conduct of affairs. There was much to disgust 
the private soldier. There was the stringent restriction of 
furloughs. Thousands of business men, at the first call, had 
hastened from their homes leaving wives and children un- 
provided for, and much important business unsettled. For 
eight months they had been idling in camp. During these 
months they might well have been allowed to visit their 
families. But no! For five months past furloughs were 
positively forbidden. Officers were not arrested, no matter 
what they did; but privates, who outranked them socially, 
were disgraced by arrest and punishment. No wonder re- 
enlistments were few. 

Those who could pay the price, one hundred dollars or 
more, sought substitutes. Such was the demand that a new 
sort of business man, the substitute broker, appeared and 
by advertising sought to supply the need. Meetings were 
held and speeches made to encourage enlistment and a bounty 
of fifty dollars was offered to each private and non-commis- 
sioned officer who would serve continuously for three years, 
or the war. 

The same bounty was offered to twelve-month men then 
in service, if they enlisted for two more years, to all those 
in service for three years at the end of the first year, and 
to all who, in future, should enlist for the war, when they 
were mustered into service. The day of the short-term 
volunteer had gone. He had nobly sprung to arms to meet 
a pressing emergency. But it was idle to depend on him to 
meet the needs of a long war. f What then should fee done ? 
Some answered, let the Government draft, conscript, and 
keep in the army all now there, regardless of the time for 

* Secretary of War to Davis, August 12, 1862, Official Records, 
Series 4, vol. ii, pp. 42, 43. 

f Richmond Enquirer, January 9, 1862; Norfolk Day Book, January 
9, 1862; New York Herald, February 14, 1862. 


which they volunteered, and so put an end to the feeling of 
unrest that is breaking down discipline and ruining the 

Davis appealed to Congress. He asked that all men from 
eighteen to thirty-five, residing within the limits of the Con- 
federacy, be made subject to military duty; that they be 
considered already in the service of the Confederacy, and 
that a simple plan for their enrollment and conscription be 
adopted.* "~ 

Congress acted promptly, and April sixteenth the Conscrip- 
tion Act became law. By it Davis was empowered to call 
out, and keep in the army for three years, all white men 
from eighteen to thirty-five, unless lawfully exempt. This 
would secure raw troops. But to pit them against the army 
McClellan had been training for months past would be folly. 
The Confederate veterans must be held. The Act, therefore, 
provided that men of conscriptive age in the army on April 
sixteenth should be held to service for three years dating 
from the day whereon they volunteered. All subject to 
conscription and not in the army were to be given a short 
time in which to enlist. 

The Conscription Act was quickly followed by another 
which specified the offices, trades, occupations, businesses, 
duties which exempted men from conscription. Those whose 
labors put them in any one of the classes named in the act, 
and no others, were relieved from military service, unless 
substitutes were found. Even then exemption would hold 
only so long as the substitutes were not enrolled. 

Before seeing the Exemption Act Governor Brown pro- 
tested to Davis. Many members of the Georgia Assembly 
were between eighteen and thirty-five years of age, were 
white citizens, and as such, liable to conscription. At any 
special session of the legislature, or at the regular one in 
November they might be claimed as conscripts by a Con- 
federate officer. He would allow no enrollment of members 
of the General Assembly. Judges, secretaries and clerks of 
executive departments, tax-collectors also fell under the law. 

* Official Records, Series 4, vol. i, p. 1031. 


The Western and Alabama Railroad belonged to Georgia 
and was subject to control by the Governor. He had then 
an efficient force of officers and men ; but were those between 
eighteen and thirty-five taken from him, the road could not 
be operated. The State owned the Georgia Military Insti- 
tute. One hundred and twenty-five students were in at- 
tendance. If they were not exempt this fine institution 
would be broken up and so would the State University and 
the colleges. The Conscript Act gave authority to the Presi- 
dent to enroll every man in the State militia between eight- 
een and thirty-five years of age ; took from the State its con- 
stitutional right to appoint officers and train men, and put 
it in the power of the President to send a Major General of 
Militia to the Confederate States Army., place him under 
the command of a third lieutenant and treat him as a de- 
serter if he refused to obey the call. Because of these things 
Governor Brown declined to use State officers as enrollers 
and reserved for future consideration the question of the 
constitutionality of the law.* 

Davis replied there were but two ways of raising armies: 
volunteering, or by draft or conscription, and that the power 
to raise armies was not restricted as to the way. Was the 
act necessary ? It was not only necessary but absolutely in- 
dispensable. Many regiments of twelve-months men were 
on the eve of being disbanded and their places could not be 
filled by raw troops. "I hold that when a specific power is 
granted by the Constitution, like that now in question, to 
'raise armies/ Congress is the judge whether the law passed 
for the purpose of executing that power is 'necessary and 
proper. 3 " f 

The Governor and Council of South Carolina requested 
that students in the State Military Academy be assigned, 
without pay, to the duties in which they were then engaged, 
subject to call -when required, and that overseers on planta- 
tions be exempt. Owners of slaves were in the army. Should 
their overseers be conscripted, crops would not be planted and 

* Official Records, Series 4, vol. i, pp. 1083-1085, April 22, 1862. 
t Davis to Brown, May 20, 1862. 



food would become short Why not assign overseers, without 
pay, to the duties they were accustomed to perform ? * Ran- 
dolph answered that like appeals had come from Virginia, 
Georgia, Alabama; that he had no discretion as to exemp- 
tions, regretted the effect of conscription on military col- 
leges and could not exempt overseers, f 

Quite as necessary as the troops were their arms. Neither 
the JSTorth nor the South at the opening of the war could 
begin to make the quantity of rifles and muskets, pistols and 
percussion caps, ammunition and guns needed for the great 
armies it was certain they would soon have to put in the 
field. Eoth, therefore, turned at once to Europe. The very 
day after Sumter surrendered, the Confederate Ordnance 
Department dispatched Major Caleb Huse to England to buy 
supplies. He reached London in May to find the market poorly 
supplied and agents from the United States, Italy, Spain, 
Russia and Peru on the spot with unlimited means. Those 
from the United States gave him most concern, for their 
orders were to buy in any quantity at any price and they paid 
in cash. $ Nothing was to be had abroad. Offers of small 
arms, cannon, munitions came to him, but when the samples 
were examined he found them old and unserviceable. He 
heard that Dayton had bought thirty thousand old flintlocks 
that would have to be altered. In Paris he was offered 
any quantity of the sort used by the French Army. Indeed, 
they were to come from French arsenals. Believing, if the 
Government had arms to sell, they could be purchased with- 
out the aid of a middleman, Huse applied to Judge Eost, 
who took up the matter and was told none were for sale. 
Nothing was left but to buy in small quantities from small 
manufacturers scattered over England, but chiefly in Bir- 
mingham. This he did with the help of commission 
houses. |] 

* Official Records, Series 4, vol. i, p. 1106, April 30, 1862. 
tlbid., p. 1121, May 13, 1862. 

$Huse to Gorgas, May 21, 1861. Official Records, Series 4, vol. i, 
pp. 343, 344. 

Ibid., Paris, July 22, 1861, pp. 565-567. 
|| Ibid., August 11, 1864, pp. 538-542. 


The day after Bull Bun, Huse was instructed to buy arms 
enough for five hundred regiments, buy them anywhere, at 
any price and ship them at the earliest possible moment. 
If enough could not be had at once he was to contract for 
their manufacture, sparing no pains and taking any risks.* 
With a free hand and unlimited funds Huse now went to 
Vienna and bought from the Austrian Government one hun- 
dred thousand Austrian rifles, and ten field batteries of six 
guns each to be delivered at Hamburg, f "Within a few 
months a small fleet of vessels was bringing his purchases to 
"Wilmington, to Charleston, to Bermuda, whence blockade 
runners carried them to Southern ports. More than a hun- 
dred and thirty-one thousand rifles, a hundred and twenty- 
nine cannon, shells, powder, accouterments, clothing, med- 
ical supplies and ordnance stores costing more than eight 
hundred and nineteen thousand pounds sterling reached the 
South from England. In London, awaiting shipment at the 
end of 1861 were twenty-three thousand rifles, two million 
cartridges, three million percussion caps, thousands of pairs 
of trousers and thousands of great-coats and shoes, costing two 
hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling. In Vienna 
awaiting payment were more rifles and scabbards valued at 
a hundred and seventeen thousand pounds. His expenditures 
were one million one hundred and eighty-six thousand pounds 
sterling. $ 

Still larger purchases were made by the Federal Govern- 
ment. ]STo sooner did the news of the surrender of Sumter 
reach London than Fremont, believing that small arms were 
greatly needed, proceeded to secure them. Without authority 
from the Government, without a cent at his disposal, he 
made conditional contracts in England and France and tried 
to persuade Adams and Dayton to pay for his purchases. 
Dayton hesitated, but Adams took the responsibility and 
drew on the Government for seventy-five thousand dollars 

* Walker to Huse, July 22, 1861. Official Becords, Series 4, vol. i, 
pp. 493, 494. 

t The Supplies of the Confederate Army, Caleb Hus, p. 26. 

$ Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance to the Secretary of War, February 3, 
1863. Official Records, Series 4, vol. ii, pp. 382-384. 


for cannon and shells ordered In England and one hundred 
and twenty-five thousand dollars for ten thousand rifles 
bought in France.* Mr. Sanford, American Minister in 
Brussels, when he heard of the fall of Sumter became eager 
to buy arms. He had been expecting orders to do so and 
was tempted to purchase all he -could get in Belgium without 
waiting for authority, f 

After Bull Run, Colonel Schuyler was sent as official agent 
to visit Europe and buy one hundred thousand rifled muskets, 
ten thousand revolvers, ten thousand carbines and twenty 
thousand cavalry sabers. $ On his arrival he found that 
not an Enfield rifle, not a carbine, not a revolver could be 
had in England except by contract for future delivery three 
or four months away. All private shops in Birmingham 
and London, save the London Armory, were busy filling 
orders from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ohio. The London 
Armory was supposed to be working for the South. Eng- 
land, as well as the Continent, was flooded with arms hawked 
about for sale. The same lot would frequently be offered by 
different agents. They were generally old discarded weapons 
furbished to look like new. || At Paris he found Dayton 
contracting for clothing and accouterments, and himself con- 
tracted for ten thousand revolvers, twenty thousand swords 
and forty-five thousand rifles of the pattern used by the 
French Army. It was not so stated, but it was clearly under- 
stood they were to come from the French arsenals, f San- 
ford, meantime, had been hunting down the sources of sup- 
plies for the rebels with great success. "I have now in my 
hands," he wrote, "complete control of the principal rebel 
contracts on the Continent. They include two hundred and 
sixty thousand yards of cloth ready for delivery and already 
being moved towards Havre. It is gray, but can be dyed blue 

* Adams to Seward, June 7, 1861. Official Records, Series 3, vol. i, 
p. 293. 

t Sanford to Seward, May 12, 1861. Ibid., p. 247. 
i Cameron to Schuyler, July 29, 1861. Ibid., pp. 355, 363. 
Schuyler to Cameron, August 16, 1861. Ibid., pp. 418, 419. 
|| Schuyler, September 5, 1861. Ibid., pp. 485, 486. 
TI Official Records, Series 3, vol. i, p. 486. 


in twenty days, If the whole operation could be carried out 
it would "be the greatest victory over the enemy. The winter 
clothing for a hundred thousand men taken out of their 
hands when they cannot replace it would almost compensate 
for Bull Kun." * By the end of June, 1862, more than 
seven hundred thousand muskets and rifles had been pur- 
chased, f Because, said the Ordnance Report, of the sudden 
and vast increase of our army, the demand for arms and 
ordnance stores was far greater than our public arsenals 
and private manufacturers could supply. Eesort was, there- 
fore, had to purchase in foreign countries. By this we were 
enabled to arm, equip and otherwise supply the large body 
of troops called into the field, but not always with the best 
of arms. $ 

While McClellan dallied on the Potomac other men were 
winning victories which greatly heartened the North. One 
October evening General Ambrose E. Burnside, late Colonel 
of the First Ehode Island Eegiment, in conversation with 
McClellan unfolded a plan. He would organize a division 
of some fifteen thousand men from the Northern seacoast, fit 
out a fleet of light draft vessels, make a landing on the South- 
ern coast, push into the interior, threaten the lines of trans- 
portation of the enemy in Virginia, and hold possession of 
the sounds and waters of the coast. McClellan approved. 
The Secretary of War approved, and Burnside was ordered 
to concentrate his troops at Annapolis. They soon came, and 
while they drilled a motley collection of vessels, barges and 
propellers from the Hudson River, sailing vessels once en- 
gaged in the coasting trade and old passenger steamers for 
transport service, tugs, ferryboats, brigs and schooners to 
carry stores, tools, coal and water assembled ; some at Annap- 
olis and some at Fortress Monroe. January eleventh the 
squadron put to sea under sealed orders and during two 
weeks nothing whatever was heard of it. Where it was to 
go, what it was to do was a profound secret until, late in the 

* Sanford to Seward, November 12, 1861. Official Records, Series 3, 
vol. ii, pp. 631-632. 

f Ordnance Report to June 30., 1862. Ibid., p. 855. 
$ Ibid., November 21, 1862, p. 852. 


month, copies of Norfolk newspapers reached Fortress 
Monroe. "Women and children., they announced, fleeing 
from ISTewbern, had reached Goldsboro, N"orth Carolina.* 
A hundred vessels of the Burnside expedition were in 
Pamlico Sound and twenty-five large transports outside 
Hatteras Inlet. What would now happen became the sub- 
ject of speculation by the Southern newspapers. One thought 
ITewbern and Roanoke Island would be attacked. Another 
declared the report that a Union fleet was in Pamlico Sound 
was without foundation. If there at all, it must have put in 
for protection from the violence of the gale which for ten 
days had raged along the coast. The weather had been "per- 
fectly awful." So awful had it been that February came 
before what was left of the fleet was over the bar and in the 
Sound and ready for action. Then the troops landed on 
Roanoke Island and wading, sometimes waist deep through 
the swamps and marshes, attacked and took the fort by 
assault and brought the Sound and the little villages along 
its shore under Federal control. 

While the fleet lay stormbound ten miles off the island, 
Fort Henry surrendered to Flag-Officer Foote. Conditions 
in Kentucky had changed greatly since the spring of 1861. 
Elections in June, for members of the legislature, resulted 
in a victory for the Union men and, well aware that Ken- 
tucky could not be drawn into the Confederacy, General 
Leonidas Polk, then in command in Western Tennessee, on 
the night of September third sent a force under General 
Pillow and occupied Hickman and Columbus. Governor 
Harris of Tennessee at once telegraphed Davis that he re- 
garded "the movement as unfortunate and calculated to 
injure our cause 57 in Kentucky, f Secretary of War Walker 
answered that "Polk has been ordered to withdraw force 
under Pillow. Movement was unauthorized." $ But Polk 
told Davis that he thought it wise to occupy the place and 
prevent the enemy securing a point so necessary to the safety 

* Norfolk Day Book, January 22, 1862, quoted by New York Herald 
January 24, 25, 1862. 

t Official Eecords, Series 1, vol. IT, pp. 188, 189, 
p. 189. 




of Tennessee.* Davis then declared "necessity justified the 
action," and the troops remained, f 

The line of Confederate advance then ran from Cumber- 
land Gap, in southeastern Kentucky, to Mill Springs, toi 
Bowling Green, to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, 
to Fort Henry on the Tennessee, to Columbus on the Missis- 
sippi. To break this line General Thomas was sent to the 

.ncinnati | 


.Arkansas Poster 


eastern end and in the battle of Mill Springs, in which Zolli- 
coifer was killed, beat the enemy and put them to flight. To 
break it at Fort Henry a joint land and naval expedition 
under General Grant and Flag-Officer Foote was fitted out 
at Cairo. The gunboats and transports went up the 
see; the troops landed some four miles from the fort and 
set off to attack it; but were so delayed by lack of roads, 
dense woods and high water in the streams that Foote arrived 
first, opened fire, and Tilghman surrendered. The garrison 
was then found to consist of Tilghman, his staff and some 
eighty men. The rest had fled to Fort Donelson. Though 

* Official Kecords, Series 1, vol. iv, p. 181. 
f Ibid. 

1862 FORT DONELSON. 295 

but eleven miles away, a week passed ere Grant was able 
to reach it, and two days more before the fleet arrived and 
bombardment began. Two of the gunboats were disabled 
and floated helplessly down the river and it seemed to Grant 
that he would have to lay siege to the fort while they were 
under repair at Cairo. But the next morning the garrison 
sallied forth, beat back his right wing and were cutting their 
way through when, in the nick of time, they were checked 
and driven back and part of their line occupied. That night, 
at a council of officers within the fort, It was decided to 
make no further resistance. Before dawn Forrest with his 
cavalry rode off to Nashville. Floyd, who was in command, 
turned it over to Pillow, seized two steamers and with his 
troops escaped to ISTashville. Pillow turned over the com- 
mand to Buckner, and crossed the river in a skiff. Buckner 
asked for an armistice to arrange terms of surrender. 
"Yours of this date," was Grant's reply, "proposing armistice 
and appointment of commissioners to setttle terms of capitu- 
lation, is just received. 'No terms but unconditional and 
immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move 
immediately upon your works." * Buckner accepted them 
and the first great victory of the war was won. 

The fall of Fort Donelson left General Albert Sidney 
Johnston no choice but to evacuate Washville or lose his little 
army. He chose to retreat and fell back to Murfreesboro, 
leaving Floyd with some troops to send away as much of 
the stores as he could before the Union Army entered. 

Reports that Donelson had surrendered, that Johnston 
would not defend Nashville, that the enemy was coming, 
reached the city on Sunday the sixteenth. Dumbfounded 
by the news, hundreds of citizens closed their houses, and 
securing carriages, hacks, wagons, horses, fled southward. 
The legislature assembled in haste and adjourned to Mem- 
phis. The Governor fled with the State records. Supplies 
were burned, cannon were spiked, the mob took possession 
of the town and the citizens helped themselves to bacon, 
flour, sugar, coffee, shoes and clothing left unguarded by the 
commissary when he fled. Forrest, who arrived on Monday 
* Official Records, Series 1, vol. vii, p. 161. 


morning, found the mob in "possession of the city to that 
extent that every species of property was unsafe/ 7 and was 
forced to nse his cavalry to drive the crowds away from the 
doors of the storehouses that wagons might be bronght up 
for transportation.*" While Forrest was engaged in this 
work of salvage Floyd destroyed the wire suspension and 
the railroad bridges and fled to Murfreesboro. 

News of the great victory was brought to Cairo and quickly 
spread over the country, followed everywhere by demonstra- 
tions of great joy. At Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, 
Springfield, Cleveland, Detroit, guns were fired, bells rung, 
flags displayed, and at night there were bonfires, rockets and 
a general illumination. Indianapolis sent a special train to 
Fort Donelson with physicians, nurses and hospital supplies. 
At Columbus the legislature adjourned with a shout, them 
listened to speeches by favorite orators and ordered the State 
House illuminated. Chicago claimed the victory for Illinois 
because she had twenty-five regiments in the fight. At Mil- 
waukee stores and public offices were closed and the legis- 
lature adjourned. St. Louis went "wild with excitement 
and joy." Buffalo, Eochester, TTtica, Geneva, Auburn were 
scenes of like outbursts. In Albany the victory of the Union 
armies kept the city in a whirl of excitement till long past 
midnight. The Capitol, State House, City Hall and private 
houses were brilliantly lighted. The legislature received 
the news with cheers, adopted a resolution congratulating the 
country and adjourned over Washington's Birthday. The 
villages of Vermont and New Hampshire, of all New Eng- 
land, devoted the day to expressions of patriotism and 
thanksgiving. At Boston, Governor Andrew ordered salutes 
fired on Bunker Hill and at Concord and Lexington and the 
legislature ordered that Washington's Farewell Address be 
read on the twenty-first and made the twenty-second a holi- 
day. Lincoln, by proclamation, requested that the people 
assemble on that day "in their customary places, for public 
solemnities/' and cause "to be read the immortal Farewell 
Address." f In every city, town and hamlet the country 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. vii, pp. 424-433. 
f Proclamation of February 19, 1862. 


over the day was celebrated with, an enthusiasm such as it 
had never before called forth, for the people were really 
rejoicing over the victories at Hatteras, Roanoke Island, Mill 
Springs, Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. 

While the people in the North were celebrating the birth- 
day of Washington with bells and cannonading, parades, 
orations, music, bonfires, patriotic dinners and illuminations, 
the President of the Confederate States of America under its 
permanent Constitution was inaugurated in Richmond. As 
required by law the temporary Congress of one House closed 
its session and gave way to a Congress of two Houses on the 
eighteenth. The electoral vote was counted on the nineteenth, 
and 011 the twenty-second Davis, standing at the foot of 
Washington's Monument, in a pouring rain, looking into the 
faces of a wet, gloomy and disheartened crowd of fellow- 
citizens, delivered his inaugural address. 

Eeunion, he told his hearers, was not possible. Any hope 
entertained that a returning sense of justice would remove 
the dangers which threatened Southern rights and make it 
possible to preserve the Union of the Constitution must have 
been dispelled "by the malignity and barbarity of the United 
States'-' in waging the war, by the utter disregard shown 
for time-honored bulwarks of civil and religious liberty. 
Bastilles filled with prisoners arrested without civil process 
or indictment; the writ of habeas corpus suspended by execu- 
tive mandate ; a State legislature controlled by the imprison- 
ment of naemberis whose avowed principles suggested that 
one more might be added to the list of seceded States; elec- 
tions held under threat of military power; civil officers, 
peaceful citizens, gentlewomen incarcerated for opinions' 
sake, showed the incapacity of their old associates to admin- 
ister a government free, liberal and humane. "No act of 
the South had impaired liberty of the person or freedom of 
thought, speech or the press. The Courts had been open, 
judicial functions fully executed, every right of the peaceful 
citizen maintained as carefully as if a war of invasion had 
not disturbed the land.* Before a week went by Congress 

* Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, vol. i, pp. 
184, 185. 


authorized Davis to suspend the writ in cities in danger of 
attack by the enemy, and it was at once suspended in Nor- 
folk, Portsmouth and the country ten miles around. Before 
the middle of March, the people of Richmond, Petersburg 
and the counties of Elizabeth City, York, Warwick, Glou- 
cester and Mathews were deprived of its benefits, and before 
the first of April it was suspended in ten counties in western 

The flight of the Governor and legislature to Memphis, 
the abandonment of Nashville, the retreat of Johnston and 
the occupation by the Union forces of the Cumberland and 
Tennessee Eivers, were instantly followed by an attempt to 
reestablish a loyal Government in the State of Tennessee by 
the nomination of Andrew Johnson to be Military Governor 
with the rank of brigadier general, f Such was the haste 
of Lincoln that before the Senate acted the Secretary of War 
signed the commission which invested Johnson with au- 
thority to exercise and perform all the powers, duties and 
functions belonging to the office he was appointed to fill. ^ 

Andrew Johnson, thus started on his career of reconstruc- 
tionist, was a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. His par- 
ents belonged to the class known in the Southern social scale 
as "poor whites," a class but one degree above the slaves. 
The father died when the boy was four years of age, the 
mother provided no education whatever so that, when, at the 
age of ten, "Andy" was apprenticed to a tailor, he had no 
knowledge whatever of reading or writing. Now it so hap- 
pened that it was the custom of a patron of the tailor shop in 
Ealeigh to read to the journeymen and apprentices speeches 
from a collection of masterpieces of British oratory. The 
speeches, read with some attempt at eloquence, made a deep 
impression on the active mind of young Johnson, and aroused 
a strong desire to read them himself. With the help of a 
fellow journeyman he soon learned the alphabet and in time 
began to read. His years of apprenticeship ended he went 

* Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, vol, i, pp. 
219, 224. 

t February 23, 1862. 

$ March 3, 1865. House Miscellaneous Documents "No. 55, 39th Con- 
Sj 1st Session, p. 5. 



to South Carolina,, worked as a journeyman tailor at Laurens 
Court House for two years, came back to Raleigh and set 
off to seek his fortune in the West. At Greenville, Tennes- 
see, he stopped for a year, "but again went on his wanderings, 
and meeting with no good fortune returned, settled down, 
opened a shop and married. His wife, a young woman of 
education and force, now took him in hand and taught him 
to write and to cipher. A man of strong will, sincerity of 
purpose, a ready speaker, a supporter of the democracy of 
the Jackson era, a friend of the poor and humble, he became 
a power in the little mountain village and was given office. 
For three years in succession he was elected alderman and 
then for three years in succession mayor, and was then sent 
to the legislature. During the Log Cabin, Hard Cider 
campaign, he was chosen a Democratic presidential elector. 
In 1841 he became a State senator; in 1843 a member of 
Congress, where he served for ten years ; in 1853 and again 
in 1855 he was Governor of the State, and in 1857 took his 
seat in the Senate of the United States, where he stood out 
as a bitter foe of secession and a stout defender of the Union, 
and where he was when Lincoln made him Military Governor 
of Tennessee. Another result of the victories was the ap- 
pointment of a Military Governor for ITorth Carolina. 

Had Lincoln's Special War Order Number One been 
carried out, the twenty-second of February would have been 
made still more memorable by the advance of the Army of 
the Potomac against the rebel Capital. Had it done so it 
would have found before it an army weakened by disease, 
reduced in numbers by desertions, withdrawals and absentees, 
and about to retreat, for, on that day Davis approved the 
plan of Johnston to fall back to the banks of the Rappa- 
hannock River. But the Army of the Potomac made no 
movement, remained in its camps, and Johnston was halfway 
to the river before McClellan was aware he had started. 
Hastening across the Potomac, McClellan that night issued 
orders for a general advance "* the next morning. The men 
went joyfully forward, eager for battle, found Fairfax Court 
House and Centreville almost deserted by man and beast, 

* McClellan's Beport, Official Records, Series 1, vol. v, p. 51. 


and in the fortifications their commander had feared to 
attack, a fine collection of "quakers," maple logs painted to 
resemble guns.* 

On tlie same Sunday morning, March, ninth, on which the 
last of the Confederate Army fell back from Centreville and 
Manassas, was fought, on the waters of Hampton Roads, 
the memorable duel between the ironclads, Monitor and 

Among the vessels sunk when the G-osport Wavy Yard was 
abandoned, in the spring of 1861, was the forty-gun steam 
frigate Merrimac. She was raised by the Confederates and 
cut down to the old berth deck. To her bow was attached a 
cast-iron ram. Amidships was a casemate. The four sides, 
sloping inwards, rose seven feet from the water's edge and 
were covered with four inches of iron plates. Her deck 
ends, fore and aft, were plated with iron and were two feet 
under water, f Renamed Virginia, she steamed down the 
Elizabeth River on the afternoon of March eighth and headed 
for Newport News, where, riding at anchor were the frigate 
Congress and the sailing sloop Cumberland. Passing the 
Congress, whose shots glanced from the iron sides of the 
Virginia like pebbles, she rammed the Cumberland, backed 
out leaving an immense hole, turned, and continuing her 
fire, steamed for the Congress. The Cumberland filled rap- 
idly and listed to port ; but the crew fought gallantly until 
the magazine was flooded and the water poured in the gun 
deck ports. Then the survivors took to the water and the 
boats and the ship went down with her ensign flying at the 

For more than an hour the Congress kept up the fight, but 
did no harm to the Virginia. Aground, her commander 
killed, her deck covered with dead and wounded and all hope 
of saving her gone, nothing but surrender remained and the 
white flag was raised to put an end to the useless slaughter. 
The Minnesota was next in the line towards Point Comfort, 
but the Virginia could get no nearer than a mile and finding 
her fire had little effect, the tide ebbing and darkness coming 

*New York Tribune, March 13, 14, 1862. 

f J. L. Porter, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, vol. i, p. 715. 




Longitude 87 West 

83 Greenwich 81 



on, withdrew for the night to SewelPs Point. She would 
return in the morning and destroy the Minnesota, St. Law- 
rence and RoanoJce. When morning came there lay "beside 
the Minnesota such a craft as had never before been seen 
by the eyes of man, "a cheese box, on a raft." 

Aware of what the Confederates were doing to the Merri- 
maC; the Navy Department determined to be prepared and 
accepted the offer of John Ericsson to build an ironclad to 
meet her. Begun at Brooklyn in October., 1861, launched 
in January and commissioned in February, 1862, the Moni- 
tor left New York for Hampton Roads on the sixth of March 
commanded by Lieutenant John L. Worden. Twice she was 
almost wrecked in a rough sea, but reached Cape Henry 
on the eighth and by midnight anchored near the Minnesota. 
Bright and early on the morning of the ninth the Virginia 
returned to the Koads, stood for the Minnesota, opened fire 
and, to the astonishment of Buchanan, her commander, was 
attacked by the Monitor. In size, in armament, in weight 
of metal the two were most unequally matched. But it did 
not matter, for, after hours of fighting at close range neither 
had inflicted any serious damage on the other. About noon 
a shell from a gun whose muzzle was not thirty feet away 
struck the sight slit in the little pilot house on the Monitor's 
bow, exploded and partly lifted the top. Worden, who stood 
behind the slit, was slightly stunned by the blow and utterly 
blinded by the powder. That aid might be given the wounded 
commander the Monitor was withdrawn, temporarily, from 
the fight. Some time passed before Lieutenant Greene, on 
whom the command now devolved, returned to the pilot house 
to find that Buchanan, supposing the battle was over and 
because his ship was leaking badly, was on his way to Nor- 
folk. So ended the famous battle that closed the era of 
wooden ships of war and changed the naval architecture of 
the world. 

News* of the sinking of the Cumberland and the capture 
and destruction of the Congress spread gloom over the North, 
and threw Washington into a panic. Every ship in the Navy, 
every port along the coast, the waters of Chesapeake Bay, 
the Potomac, the city of Washington seemed to be at the 


mercy of the Virginia. On the morning of the ninth, 
Seward, Chase, Stanton and Welles in a state of great excite- 
ment hurried to the President to consider what should be 
done. "The Merrimac" said Stanton, "will change the whole 
character of the war ; she will destroy seriatum every naval 
vessel ; she will lay all the cities on the seaboard under con- 
tributions. I shall immediately recall Burnside ; Port Eoyal 
must be abandoned; I will notify the Governors and mu- 
nicipal authorities in the North to take instant measures to 
protect their harbors." IsTot unlikely "we shall have a shell 
or cannon ball from one of her guns in the White House 
before we leave this room." 

So great was the alarm that canal boats loaded with stones 
were sent off to be sunk in the Potomac. Happily they were 
not used and in a few hours the whole country was rejoicing 
over a victory; the South because of the destruction wrought 
by the Virginia; the North because the little Monitor had 
withstood the giant Virginia and saved the ships in Hampton 
Eoads from destruction. 

England heard the news with great concern.* Facts like 
these may well induce us to reflect, said the Times. There 
is no longer any doubt that a wooden vessel matched against 
an iron one is as helpless as was predicted. The Merrimac 
"did actually knock the Cumberland into matches." But 
when she met a ship of her own class an action of five hours 
ensued with no great damage to either side, f What to all 
other nations is a matter of considerable importance is to 
us in these sea girt islands a matter of life and death* The 
battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac has shown 
that the British Channel has ceased to exist, and for all 
strategic purposes we are now a part of the continent. Wo 
must be ready at any time to meet and repel any power at 
sea. When sailing vessels gave way to steam, we formed a 

* "This startling battle has dumbfounded and dismayed all England. 
After loud-mouthed exultation over their iron-armored Warrior and 
savage boasts of her power to destroy us and ours, the nation has 
awakened this morning to the agreeable fact that their navy is worth- 
less. The battle is the one absorbing topic in the Clubs, in Parlia- 
ment, in Society." Moran's Diary, March 26, 1862, also April 5, 1862, 

f London Times, March 26, 1862. 



steam navy superior to any. Now that proof has teen given 
that steamships of wood are useless against steamships of 
iron, we must again start in a new competition and outstrip 
our rivals. We must abandon our wooden ships.* What 
we have been taught by the American example is not the 
relative efficiency of one type of iron ship over another, but 
the absolute superiority of iron ships, however imperfectly 
built, over any wooden ship, however powerful. If a mere 
makesshift like the Merrimac, rudely extemporized on the 
spur of the moment, can destroy the finest ship, and defy 
the strongest forts of the Federal Government, what may 
not be done by a first-rate specimen of the class ? If a cheap, 
half-seaworthy battery like the Monitor can bring the Mem- 
mac to bay, what may not be done on further trial ? f 

In the House of Commons a member called the attention 
of the Secretary for War to what had recently occurred in 
America, and asked if it would not be prudent to suspend 
work on the forts at Spithead until the value of iron-roofed 
gunboats had been considered. $ To another member the 
battle appeared "as a great and entire revolution in the art 
of naval architecture." He trusted the Monitor would indeed 
prove to be a monitor to the Lords of the Admiralty. It did 
so prove. While the debate was still going on, the Royal 
Sovereign was ordered cut down from a hundred and thirty- 
one gun three-decker to a twelve-gun shield ship ; the line-of- 
battle ship Bulwark, on the stocks at Chatham, was ordered 
to be converted into an armor-plated ship and work on two 
smaller vessels was stopped until the Admiralty should de- 
cide what to do with them. Eazeeing the two-screw three- 
deckers Victoria and Duke of Wellington to their middle 
decks, it was announced, would begin at once at Portsmouth, 
and all work on others was suspended at Woolwich and 
Deptf ord. 

The Toulon Gazette de Medi declared the action, in which 
the Merrimac had destroyed two frigates of fifty guns each, 

* London Times, April 4, 1862. 

t Ibid., March 31, April 1, April 7, 1862. 

$ April 4, 1862. 

London Times, April 5, 9, 10, 1862. 


had given the coup de grace to wooden ships of war. At a 
meeting of French naval officers in Paris the meaning of the 
hattle was discussed and the opinion reached that if France 
would build, each month, one ship of war equal in force 
to the Monitor,, she would at the end of a year have an iron 
fleet sufficient to meet any power in Europe. 

Lincoln and McCIellan meanwhile were busy preparing 
for the advance of the Army of the Potomac. By one general 
War Order the President directed that the troops destined 
to engage in active operations he organized into four army 
corps, to he commanded by Generals McDowell, Sumner ? 
Heintzelman and Keyes.* By another, McCIellan was re- 
lieved of all command save that of the Department of the 
Potomac, f Organization was promptly made and March 
thirteenth the four commanders met at Fairfax Court House 
and gave it as their opinion that, the enemy having retreated 
from Manassas, Richmond should be attacked by way of 
Old Point Comfort and the Peninsula, provided the Merri- 
mac could be held in check, provided transports could be 
had to move the troops down the Potomac River, provided a 
naval force silenced the batteries along the York Kiver and 
provided men enough were left to defend the city of Wash- 
ington. If these things could not be done the army should 
move against the enemy then behind the Rappahannock. $ 
Lincoln gave a reluctant consent ; the army was marched 
back to Alexandria; embarkation began and by the end of 
the month fifty-eight thousand men were assembled near 
Fortress Monroe. || Tents were struck at daylight on April 
fourth, and the march "to Richmond" began ; but was halted 
by a continuous line of strong earthworks stretching across 
the Peninsula from the Tork to the James rivers, manned 
by eleven thousand men under Magrucler. 

Convinced that the works could not be carried by assault, 
McCIellan settled down for a weary siege, and a month passed 

* General War Order No. 2, March. 8, 1862. 

f IMd. } No. 3, March 4, 1862. 

$ Official Records, Series 1, vol. ii, Part 3, p. 58* 

Itrid,, p. 59. 

|| Ibid., Part 1, p. 10. 

1862 SHILOH. 


with, the Confederates still behind their defenses. Else- 
where, other men won great victories. ITew Orleans had 
fallen and Shiloh had been. won. 

Since the victory at Donelson, Johnston had gathered his 
army at Corinth in Mississippi, and Halleci: had sent Grant's 
up the river to Pittsburg Landing and ordered Buell to 
march from Nashville and join it. Though the enemy was 
but eighteen miles away, there were no earthworks, no line 
of defense at the Landing, nor any plan of action should 
an attack be made while Grant was at his headquarters at 
Savannah nine miles below the Landing. Well aware of the 
condition of the federal camp and of the march of Buell, 
Johnston decided to attack before he arrived, advanced slowly 
through the dense woods, and on the evening of the fifth of 
April bivouacked two miles from Sherman's camp near a log 
meeting-house called Shiloh. Neither Grant nor Sherman 
expected an attack in force ; * but it came with suddenness 
soon after daylight on the morning of the sixth. By eight 
o'clock the Confederates had taken the camp of the Sixth 
Division ; by ten those of Sherman and MeClernand were in 
their hands. At two o'clock Johnston led a charge on a ridge, 
was shot and in a few minutes died. The command then 
passed to Beauregard. At half past five o'clock the Sixth 
Division was surrounded and twenty-two hundred men made 
prisoners. After twelve hours of fighting, as darkness came 
on, Beauregard gave the order to cease firing. That night hi^ 
men slept in the Union camps. 

With the fresh troops of Buell and Wallace, and such of 
his own army as had not skulked or run away, Grant attacked 
Beauregard on Monday morning. Another day of carnage 
followed before Beauregard gave up the fight and began his 
retreat to Corinth. Satisfied with the recovery of his lost 
camps Grant made no pursuit. Never before had so great 
a battle been fought on our soil. Nearly twenty-four thou- 
sand men were killed, wounded or captured, f 

* Official Kecords, Series 1, vol. x, Part 1, pp. 89, 331. Part 2, p. 93. 

fThe Confederate army numbered 40,000 men, and lost in killed 
1728; in wounded 8012; in missing 959; in all 10,699. Grant on the 
first day had 33,000 men in action, and on the second some 26,000 


"While Grant was driving back, Beauregard, Pope and Flag" 
Officer Foote captured Island No. 10 in the Mississippi River. 
Two victories on the same day was a new experience to the 
North and called forth great rejoicings. Lincoln by procla- 
mation appointed the following Sunday a day of thanksgiving 
to Almighty God for the signal triumphs on land and sea. 
Massachusetts requested her citizens to join in a general 
Te Dewn and congratulated the Western States on the deeds 
of their valiant soldiers in the Mississippi Valley. Salutes 
of a hundred guns were fired at Boston, Providence and 
many other places. 

Before the month ended Farragut was at New Orleans. 
At the suggestion of Fox an expedition to capture the city 
and open the lower Mississippi was made ready during the 
winter of 1861. Flag-Officer David Gr. Farragut was given 
command, and early in April he entered the Mississippi and 
steamed towards New Orleans. Seventy-five miles up the 
river, on the west bank, was Fort Jackson; half a mile further 
up on the east bank was Fort St. Philip. Stretching across 
the river was a heavy chain supported by anchored hulks. 
Above the forts were the ram Manassas, the ironclad Louisi- 
ana., converted tugs for river defense, armed steamboats, and 
fire rafts, flatboats piled high with pine knots, and shore bat- 
teries a few miles below the city. April sixteenth Farragut 
was within three miles of Fort Jackson. On the eighteenth, 
Porter began the bombardment, and continued it without 
interruption for five days. Satisfied that the forts could not 
be reduced Farragut determined to run by them, sent a force 
to break a way through the chain across the river, and towards 
daylight on the twenty-fourth made the attempt, and suc- 
ceeded. One of his vessels was sunk; three were disabled ; his 
own, the Hartford, was almost set on fire by a fire raft. But 
the run was made, the rebel fleet was destroyed, and the vic- 
torious squadron dropped anchor off New Orleans. The mob 
set fire to the cotton on the levee, broke up hogsheads of 
sugar and molasses and carried away their contents, and 

more. B.e lost in killed 1754; in wounded 8408; in captured and 
missing 2885; in all 13,047. 


skips, steamers, fiatboats were given to the flames,* Captain 
Bailey and Lieutenant Perkins were sent ashore, made their 
way to the City Hall and demanded the surrender of the city. 
The Mayor refused. General Lovell was in town and the 
demand should be made to him. He was sent for, and in turn 
refused. His troops had left, and he was going at once. 

Three days were wasted in fruitless negotiations ; then the 
patience of Farragut gave way, a strong force with cannon 
was landed, the rebel flag flying over the Customhouse was 
pulled down, and the flag of the Union raised in its place. 
Both forts were then held by Porter; the river was open to 
the sea ; and May first General Butler arrived with twenty- 
five hundred men and the city was turned over to him. 

The troops having landed, Butler prepared a proclamation 
and sent it to the office of the True Delta. The proprietor 
refused to print it. Thereupon the office was seized, printers 
obtained from the ranks and the proclamation appeared. 
Business of every sort was to go on as usual. Shops and 
places of amusement were to be kept open. Services were to 
be held In the churches. Circulation of Confederate bonds, 
scrip ; or evidences of debt of any kind issued by the Confeder- 
ate Government, was forbidden. The people having no sub- 
stitute for money other than bank notes, their circulation 
was allowed "so long as any one will be inconsiderate enough 
to receive them." Publication of newspapers, pamphlets, 
handbills, reflecting in any way on the United States, or tend- 
ing In any way to influence the public mind against the 
United States, would not be permitted. All war news, edi- 
torials, correspondence, making comment on the movements 
of the armies of the United States, must be submitted to ex- 
amination by an officer detailed for that purpose. Ensigns, 
flags, devices, save the flags of the United States and foreign 
consuls, must not be exhibited. 

Having issued the proclamation, Butler sent for the Mayor, 
City Council and Chief of Police, read the document, ex- 
plained what it meant, and told them what they were to 

*N"ew Orleans Crescent, April 28, 1862. Official Eecords, Navies, 
vol. xviii, p. 158. 


do. A Provost Judge and Provost Marshal were then ap- 
pointed, and Butler proceeded to regulate the food supply, 
the newspapers, the currency and the conduct of the women. 

The women gave him a deal of trouble. Some, when they 
met an officer or soldier in the street drew aside their skirts. 
Some made grimaces, others left the sidewalk rather than 
pass a Yankee. To put a stop to this, Order No. 28 was 
issued, and "any female" who "by word, gesture or move- 
ment/' should "insult or show contempt for any officer or 
soldier of the United States" was thereafter "to be regarded 
and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying 
her vocation," Against this the Mayor protested, and de- 
clared he would never be responsible for the peace of New 
Orleans while such an edict, which infuriated the citizens, re- 
mained in force.* Butler at once announced that the Mayon 
was relieved from all responsibility for the peace of New 
Orleans, and placed him, his secretary, the chief of police, 
and several others under arrest, and lodged them all in Fort 

Copies of the order reached London in June, caused an out- 
burst of wrath in Parliament, and brought from Lord Palmer- 
ston the most singular letter ever received by an American 
Minister f It was marked "Confidential," was addressed to 
Adams and read: "I cannot refrain from taking the liberty 
of saying to you that it is difficult if not impossible to express 
adequately the disgust which must be excited in the mind of 
every honorable man by the general order of General Butler 
given in the enclosed extract from yesterday's Times. Even 
when a town is taken by assault it is the practice of the com- 
mander of the conquering army to protect to his utmost the 
inhabitants and especially the female part of them, and I will 
venture to say that no example can be found in the history of 
civilized nations, till the publication of this order, of a gen- 
eral guilty in cold blood of so infamous an act as deliberately 
to hand over the female inhabitants of a conquered city to 
the unbridled license of an unrestrained soldiery. 

* Monroe to Butler, May 16, 1862, New York Herald, May 30, 1862. 
t Palmerston. to Adams, June 11, 1862. Charles Francis Adams, by 
-bis son Charles Francis Adams, pp. 248-249. 



"If the Federal Government chooses to be served by men 
capable of such revolting outrages, they must submit to 
abide by the deserved opinion which mankind will form of 
their conduct." 

Doubtful whether or not he should receive such a letter, 
Adams wrote Palmerston and asked two questions. Was he 
to consider it addressed to him officially ? Was he to consider 
it "purely as a private expression of sentiment between 
gentlemen?" * The next day the order was brought up in 
Parliament. In the Commons the under-Secretary of State 
for Foreign Affairs was asked by a member if Her Majesty's 
Government had received official information of the authen- 
ticity of the proclamation attributed to Butler, ''menacing 
the women 3 ' of New Orleans, "with the most degrading treat- 
ment as a punishment for any mark of disrespect to any 
officer or soldier of the United States, and if so, whether Her 
Majesty's Government has deemed it right to remonstrate 
with the American Government V 9 Did the language mean 
that the ladies of New Orleans, because they might happen, 
to make some gesture which an officer or soldier might inter- 
pret as an insult, were to be dragged to the common jail and 
subjected to most degrading association with the vilest of their 
sex ? Wherever this proclamation was spoken of in Europe 
it was sure to be visited with an outburst of execration, and it 
would be seen whether public opinion, which was said to be 
so powerful in controlling despots, had any power "over a 
rampant democracy." 

Mr. Gregory said, that when a proclamation repugnant to 
decency, civilization and humanity is promulgated and put 
in force against a people endeared to us by every tie of 
family, language and religion, then he did think it was right 
to protest. The proclamation meant nothing less than that 
the ladies of New Orleans, if by movement or gesture, they 
showed contempt for a Northern soldier were to be subjected 
to the brutalities of Northern armies, and handed over to the 
tender mercies of the scum of the rowdyism of New York. 
Was the Prime Minister prepared to protest this, the greatest 

* Adams' Charles ^Francis Adams, p. 251. 


outrage ever perpetrated against decency in the age in which 
we live ? 

Palmerston rose amidst cheers and said no man could have 
read the proclamation without a feeling of deepest indigna- 
tion. Cheers from both sides of the House interrupted him. 
A proclamation to which he did not hesitate to attach the 
epithet, infamous. Again the House cheered him. Sir, he con- 
tinued, an Englishman must blush to think that such an act 
has been committed by one belonging to the Anglo-Saxon race. 
What course Her Majesty's Government may take must be a 
matter of consideration. The House ordered that copies of 
any letters from Lord Lyons be laid before it* 

In the House of Lords, that day, the Earl of Carnarvon 
questioned the Secretary for Foreign Affairs as to a procla- 
mation said to have been issued by General Butler. Lest 
there should be any misunderstanding as to its language he 
read it, and said it was either a menace, or a reality. If a 
menace, it was a gross, a brutal insult. If a reality, it was 
without precedent or parallel. Has Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment any information as to its authenticity? Russell an- 
swered that Lord Lyons had sent him a newspaper copy. 
He believed it to be authentic, and thought it meant that 
the women would be sent to prison. 

Palmerston now replied to Adams, gave reasons why he 
wrote the letter, answered neither of the questions, and 
offered some advice. He hoped the President would at once 
give peremptory orders for the withdrawal of Butler's order. 
The Government of the United States was making war in 
order to force the Southern States to reenter the Union, but 
the officers and soldiers of the Federal Government by their 
conduct at New Orleans were implanting undying hatred and 
sentiments of insatiable revenge in the breasts of those whom 
the Federal Government wished to win back to an equal 
participation in a free constitution,-]- Once more Adams 
wrote, called attention to the fact that his questions were not 
answered and said his Lordship would understand how im- 

* House of Commons, June 13, 1862, London Times, June 14, 1862. 
f Palmerston to Adams, June 15, 1862, Adams' Charles Francis 
Adams, p. 252. 


possible it was for him, with any self-respect, to entertain as 
private any communication which, contained offensive imputa- 
tions against the Government he had the honor to represent. 
Therefore he must again ask whether the letter was in any 
way official., or simply a private communication of sentiment 
between gentlemen.* 

If, said Palmerston in reply, I had been merely a private 
gentleman I should not have addressed the Minister of the 
United States upon a public matter. If you had been here 
merely as a private gentleman, I should not, as head of the 
Government, have thought it of any use to communicate with 
you on any matter bearing on the relations of our two coun- 
tries. "So much for the first part of your question." As to 
the second part it was well known that the Secretary of 
State for Foreign ^airs was the official organ for communi- 
cation between the British Government and the Govern- 
ments of Foreign States. But it might sometimes be the 
duty of the first Minister of the Grown to communicate with 
representatives of Foreign States on matters bearing on the 
relation between Great Britain and those States. 2To greaU 
sagacity was needed to foresee that the feelings excited by 
General Butler's General Order would not be conducive to 
the maintenance of those sentiments of good will between, 
the two countries so much to be desired by both. He be- 
lieved he was doing good service by enabling Adams to in- 
form his Government of the impression Butler's order had 
produced in England, and thought it better he should know 
that impression privately from a person competent to judge 
what the feelings of the British nation may be, than for the 
first time learn them in a more public manner, f 

Davis, in a proclamation, declared the General was a 
felon deserving of capital punishment, an outlaw and a: 
common enemy of mankind, and threatened that if caught 
he should be hanged at once. $ Because of his General Order 

* Adams to Palmerston, June 16, 1862, p. 253. 

t Palmerston to Adams, June 19, 1862. Adams' Charles Francis 
Adams, pp. 248-260. 

$ Proclamation of December 23, 1862. New York Herald, December 
28, 1862. 


regarding the women, but chiefly because of his treatment 
of the Consul for the Netherlands and the protests from all 
the other Consuls in ]$Tew Orleans and the Dutch Minister 
in Washington, Butler was stripped of all civil power and 
before the year ended was replaced by Banks.* 

Further up the Valley the Union Army by this time had 
made some progress. Four days after the victory at Shiloh, 
Halleck reached Pittsburg Landing, summoned Pope to 
join him and soon had a force of a hundred thousand men. 
To Thomas he gave command of the right wing; to Buell 
the center ; to Pope the left wing. Grant, left without com- 
mand, thought seriously of resigning, but was induced by 
Sherman to remain and abide his time. Toward the end of 
April, Halleck began his advance on Corinth, defended 
by fifty thousand men under Beauregarcl. Moving slowly, 
cautiously, entrenching at every halt, he traversed twenty- 
three miles in the course of a month, came before the de- 
fenses of Corinth and found them deserted. 

The advance towards Corinth made the forts on the bluffs 
along the Mississippi untenable. But the Union fleet, which 
for eight weeks had been idle, made no attempt to take them 
until a deserter reported that Fort Pillow was almost dis- 
mantled. Then the fleet, on the fifth of June, got under 
way, raised the flag at Fort Pillow and at Fort Randolph 
ten miles below, and passing by plantations where cotton, 
was burning and through masses of cotton floating on the 
water, anchored at dusk within sight of the spires and build- 
ings of Memphis. Early in the morning the rebel fleet 
attacked. A sharp fight followed, every enemy vessel save 
one was sunk, burned or captured and the city occupied. 
The Mississippi was open as far as Vicksburg. 

* Official Records, Series 3, vol. ii, pp. 115-142. Senate Executive 
BocTiments 3STo, 16, 37th Congress, 3rd Session, 





WHILE Halleck crept cautiously towards Corinth, 
McClellan moved with almost equal slowness towards Rich- 
mond. The Confederate defenses might easily have been 
carried by assault, but he preferred to lay siege and April 
closed with his army still in camp. Magruder's force mean- 
time was raised to thirty-three thousand men, but so many 
were gathered at the James Eiver end of the line that the! 
remainder was far from enough to defend the thirteen miles 
of earthworks stretching across- the Peninsula. Regiments 
in the trenches were rarely relieved, some artillery were 
never relieved. Rain fell almost incessantly; the trenches 
were filled with water ; the weather was cold ; no fires were 
allowed; no coffee, sugar or hard bread was served. The 
troops were forced to live on salt meat and flour.* 

Aware that the siege guns were nearly in place, aware 
that the line could not be held, Johnston, who had been 
placed in command, quietly withdrew f and the Union! 
forces entered the abandoned works. $ 

As the Confederates fell back, iron, guns, clothing, am- 
munition, troops, were ordered removed from Norfolk. All 
cotton and tobacco at Petersburg was made ready for de- 
struction. If they could be burned without danger to the 
city, fire was to be applied. If not, tobacco was to be housed 
in sheds ready to be rolled into the river, and the cotton 
placed where it could be safely burned. May tenth General 
Wool entered Norfolk without resistance to find the work- 
shops and storehouses at the Navy Yard in ruins and the 
drydock partly destroyed. || Early on the morning of the 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. ii. 

t Ibid., Part 3, p. 473. To Lee, April 29, 1862. 

$May 4, 1862. 

Official Records, Series 1, vol. ii, pp. 469, 476, 485, 490, 495. 

|| Ibid., Fart 1, p. 634. 

214 DEFEATS. CHAP. x. 

eleventh the Merrimac was set on fire and blew up and the 
James Elver was open to the Union fleet. 

Having settled down for a long siege, the sudden evacua- 
tion of Yorktown took the Union Army "by surprise and 
some hours were lost before pursuit of the enemy began. 
By noon the cavalry were off. A few hours later some In- 
fantry started. Towards sundown there was a skirmish with 
the enemy's rear guard. When morning came Hooker 1 
attacked, brought on the battle of Williamsburg and suffered 
heavy losses and a defeat. During the night the fall of 
Yorktown threw Eichmond into a panic. The Secretary of 
War bade the presidents of the railroads prepare for removal 
of all rolling stock at once. If occupation by the enemy 
became imminent removal should be made without further 
orders.* The Adjutant G-eneral, Quartermaster General, 
Chief of Ordnance, were required to have all records not 
needed for daily use packed In boxes. f General Lee made 
ready to send off the army's food. $ Owners of tobacco 
were notified they might carry it away. All retained must 
be stored in certain warehouses that it might be destroyed 
should the Yankee vandals capture the city. That it could 
be held, the press of the city was not at all sure. If, it was 
said, we are successful and hold Eichmond there will be for- 
eign intervention and peace before June. If we are beaten 
and lose Eichmond the Confederacy will be launched on a 
sea of trouble. All depends on saving the city, which in 
turn depends on the stubbornness of the fighting on the 
Peninsula. Loss of lives, destruction of property should not 
be considered. No effort should be spared to inspire the 
troops with determination not to quit the ground between 
the York Eiver and Eichmond. || 

After the destruction of the Memmac, the question arose 
what should be done if the Federal gunboats came ? Should 
the city be surrendered to a few boats unbacked by land 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. ii, Part 3, pp. 501, 602. 

t Ibid., p. 504. 

Jlbid., p. 512-513. 

Richmond Dispatch, May 7, 1862. 

1J Richmond Examiner, May 8, 1862. 

1862 RICHMOND. 215 

forces? Never! was the answer, never until the demand 
can "be backed by such force as will make surrender an act 
that will not crimson the cheek with shame.* Five gun- 
boats did go up the James to within eight miles of Eich- 
mond, caused great excitement in the city, engaged the bat- 
teries on Drewry's Bluff, were beaten, and withdrew, f The 
barriers could not be forced, but the alarm was great. The 
next few days, it was said, may decide the fate of Richmond. 
It is either to remain the Capital of the Confederacy or be- 
come a Yankee conquest, and with it Virginia. If, then, 
blood is to be shed, let it be shed here. Life, family, friends 
are nothing. Leave them all for the glorious hours to be 
devoted to the Eepublic. Life, death, wounds are nothing 
if we are saved the fate of a captured Capital and humiliated 
Confederacy. If the worst comes let the ruins of Richmond 
be its most lasting monument. Better that it share the fate 
of Moscow than become the dwelling place of the invaders. J 
Nevertheless the alarm was very real. Women and children 
were hurried to Petersburg. Mrs. Davis and her children 
had already gone to Raleigh. 

When Johnston heard of the fall of Norfolk and the 
destruction of the Merrimac^ he feared an attack on Rich- 
mond by way of the James River, and sent his army across 
the Chickahominy to the chain of strong redoubts that com- 
passed the city. McClellan was then moving slowly north- 
ward, calling for more men as he went. Now it was an 
appeal to Stanton for "all the disposable troops in eastern 
Virginia." Now it was an appeal to Lincoln. Casualties, 
sickness, garrisons and guards had so weakened his army 
that he had not more than eighty thousand men with whom 
to attack an enemy perhaps, he said, double this number. 

* Richmond Dispatch, May 15, 1852. 

f May 16, 1862. 

t Richmond Enquirer, May 21, 1862, Dispatch, May 16, "There is 
much manifestation of a determination that the ancient and honored 
Capital of Virginia, now the seat of the Confederate government, shall 
not fall into the hands of the enemy. Many say rather let it be a 
heap of ruins.*' Davis to Johnston, May 17, 1862, Official Records, 
Series 1, vol. xi, Part 3, p. 524. 

To Stanton, May 10, 1862, Official Records, Series 1, vol. xi, Part 1, 
p. 26. 

216 DEFEATS. OHAP. x. 

"I ask for every man that tlie War Department can send 
me." * Stanton answered that McDowell with some forty 
thousand men would be sent to aid in capturing Richmond, 
but must not, in so doing, uncover Washington, f McClellan 
had then gone so far northward that a permanent base was 
established on the Pamunkey and the army was in line along 
the Chickahominy from New Bridge to Bottoms Bridge 
facing Eichmond. But McDowell was destined not to join 
it, for ere he was ready to start, Jackson, who after the 
withdrawal from Manassas went to the head of the Shenan- 
doah Valley, gathered such troops as he could, came down 
the valley sweeping all before him, drove Banks out of Win- 
chester and sent him in flight across the Potomac to Wil- 
liamsport in Maryland. $ As disaster followed disaster, 
Lincoln grew more and more alarmed for the safety of Wash- 
ington. Troops were hurried to Banks; McDowell was 
ordered not to join McClellan but send twenty thousand men 
up the valley to cut off the retreat of Jackson; Chase went 
to Fredericksburg to hasten their departure ; Fremont, then 
commanding in West Virginia, was directed to help capture 
the rebel army and Lincoln took over the railroads and 
called on the Governors of twelve States for troops. "In- 
telligence from various quarters," Stanton telegraphed, 
"leaves no doubt that the enemy is advancing in great forco 
on Washington, Tou will please organize and forward 
immediately all the militia and volunteer force in your 
State." They were not needed. The enemy was not 
marching on Washington. Banks was safe in Williamsport ; 
the alarm in Washington subsided and the Governors of 
Pennsylvania and Massachusetts thanked the troops that 
had assembled and sent them home. Jackson was not cap- 
tured and early in June set off to join the army gathered 
around Kichmond. 

As the Union Army drew nearer and nearer to Richmond 
the citizens made ready for defense, for the care of the 

* To Lincoln, May 14, 1862, Official Becords, Series 1, vol. ad, p. 27. 
t Ibid., vol. xi, Part 1, p. 27. May 18, 1862. 
$ Ibid., vol. xii, Part 1, pp. 551, 643, 703, Part 3, pp. 219, 222. 
Ibid., Series 3, vol. ii, p. 70, 


wounded and for a state of siege. The Confederate and 
State Governments, the city authorities and the people, it 
was said, were determined and agreed that it should "be de- 
fended at every hazard and to the very end. ISTo evil that 
could hefall it could possibly equal domination by the de- 
tested invaders. Not a day should be lost in preparing. 
The repulse of the enemy at Drewry's Bluff was a fine 
achievement, but let no man suppose the enemy had made 
his last attempt. The river would soon be crammed with his 
ships of war and furious bombardment at long range was 
to be expected. Magazines must be trebly protected, lines 
of obstruction built and every eligible point on the river 
fortified. By authority of a recent act of the Virginia leg- 
islature* the Governor appealed to the citizens of each 
county not subject to service in the army to raise companies 
of from fifty to one hundred volunteers to act as home guards. 
They were not to be sent out of their counties without their 
consent, nor be required to serve for more than thirty days 
at a time. Under the heading "Citizens and Sojourners to 
the Rescue" the committee for enrolling citizens and others 
for defense of the city summoned all patriotic men to re- 
spond to the Governor's proclamation and leave their names 
with the Committee at the City Hall. The City Council 
offered twenty dollars a month to each man who would serve 
six months. The Governor ordered all stores and places of 
business in Eichmond, save manufactories having Govern- 
ment or State contracts, to be closed each day at two o'clock 
that volunteers for home defense might drill, f The Secre- 
tary of the Treasury bade his chiefs of bureaus be ready 
should the army abandon Richmond, to move all archives not 
absolutely needed for use to one of the railroads, have the 
wagons ready at nine o'clock that night and have every- 
thing done quietly from the rear of the building lest a 
panic be caused. $ The women of the city were asked to 
visit Winder Hospital, provide the sick with much-needed 
food and send all the empty vials they could spare. The 

* Act of May 14, 1862. 

t Richmond Enquirer, May 19, 27, 28, 30, 31, 1862. 

$ Official Records, Series 1, vol. ad, Part 3, p. 557. May 28, 1862* 

218 DEFEATS. CHAP. x. 

women in the country were appealed to for supplies of butter- 
milk, vegetables, any kind of food suitable for hospital use. 
The women of the churches were besought to meet daily in 
their lecture rooms and make beds and bedding for the 
wounded and the medical director of Longstreefs Corps 
asked that citizens willing to receive wounded soldiers in 
their homes send their names to him at once. A suggestion 
that the churches be used as hospitals met with vigorous 
opposition. They were not suitable. The cushioned pews 
were too narrow. Think of a wounded man rolling in pain 
on a narrow seat! Besides, the churches were needed for 
workshops where the women could gather to make uniforms, 
send bags, bandages. Private houses, even theaters were 
better adapted. 

May twenty-ninth was a day of activity. The streets were 
full of marching soldiers, moving cannons, excited people. 
Lee left his office, rode to the front and offered his services 
to Johnston. All signs pointed to a battle on the thirtieth. 
2sTo fight occurred that day; Lee returned to his office, the 
city quieted down, and that afternoon a storm of uncommon 
violence swept over the armies. Eain fell in torrents. The 
Chickahominy overflowed its banks. The marshes were 
flooded and a new obstacle was placed between the two 
divisions of the Union Army. 

About ten days before, McClellan sent two corps across 
the Chickahominy to the south side and placed them, save 
Hooker's division, at Savage's Station, Seven Pines, a tavern 
on the Williamsburg road, and Fair Oaks Station. On the 
north side were the corps of Franklin, Simmer and, on the 
extreme right stretching to Mechaniesville, that of Porter. 
Aware that McDowell was on his way to join McClellan, 
Johnston decided to attack the corps on the north side before 
McDowell arrived ; but hearing of his recall and favored by 
the unexpected flooding of the marshes, fell upon the two 
corps on the south side, brought on the battle of Fair Oaks 
or Seven Pines, drove them from one line of defense to 
another, from one camp to another, capturing guns, tents, 
camp equipage, until, the fighting over, they were a mile 
east pf Seveji Pines. Nothing but the arrival of 


Sumner saved the army from a crushing defeat. During 
the afternoon, by order of McClellan, he crossed the Chicka- 
hommy with great difficulty, came upon the field of battle 
near Fair Oaks and stopped the enemy's advance. Scarcely 
had the fighting ended when Johnston was struck by a piece 
of a shell and the command passed to General Gk "W. Smith. 
On Sunday, June first, the battle began again: but this time 
the Confederates were driven back, the camp ground lost on 
Saturday was recovered and found strewn with rifles and 
muskets left by the enemy in his flight and with wounded 
men who had lain on the ground unattended since the fight 
on Saturday.* Sunday afternoon Lee, under orders from 
Davis, assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia, 
and during the night withdrew it to its old position. 
^ Three weeks now passed without fighting. During this 
time Lee strengthened his defenses, obtained reinforcements, 
called Jackson from the Shenandoah and sent Stuart to ex- 
amine McOlellan's line of communication with White House 
Landing. Without the slightest difficulty Stuart made his 
way to Old Church, put to flight a squadron of Union cav- 
alry, went on to the Pamunkey, plundered and burned two 
schooners, destroyed a wagon train and drove off the mules, 
pushed on to TunstalPs Station, fired on a passing train, 
went to Baltimore Cross Roads and over the Chickahominy 
at Jones's Bridge. He had ridden entirely around the rear 
of the Union Army, f 

ICcClellan spent the time building bridges, waiting for 
the weather to clear and calling for more men. By the 
middle of June twenty thousand reached him. The weather 
was fine, the roads were dry. The time had surely come 
for action. Indeed, McClellan began to prepare for an 
advance. He was too late. Lee took the offensive, crossed 
the Chickahominy on the afternoon of June twenty-sixth, 
attacked Porter's troops and drove them from their entrench- 
ments at Mechanicsville to the east bank of Beaver Dam 
Creek a mile away. There, though greatly outnumbered, 

* Keport of General Sickles, June 7, 1862, Official Records, Series 1 
vol xi, pp. 823, 824. Part 1, also p. 828. 
t Stuart's Report, ibid., vol. xi, Part 1, pp. 1030-1040. 


the Union forces held their ground and when the fighting 
ended at nine o'clock at night the Confederates had suffered 
a "bloody defeat. That night Porter was ordered to withdraw 
to a position near Gaines's Mill. The withdrawal began 
at three o'clock on the morning of the twenty-seventh. The 
rebels followed and at three in the afternoon opened the 
battle of G-aines's Mill. At first the Confederates were 
repulsed; but thirty-one thousand men could not withstand 
fifty-five thousand and towards evening the Federal line 
was broken and forced back to the banks of the Ohicka- 
hominy. "M. cClellan now ordered Porter to cross the Chiek- 
ahominy and announced a change of base from the 
Pamunkey to the James, a movement even then under way. 

Still believing McClellan would cross the Chickahominy 
by the lower bridges and retreat clown the Peninsula, Lee 
sent a division of cavalry to watch ; but when th day closed 
without any attempt to cross the river, though signs of a 
general movement were apparent, he decided that McClellan 
was retreating to the James and prepared to follow. 
Magruder was ordered to move towards Savage's Station and 
Jackson to cross the Chickahominy and join him that to- 
gether they might crush the rear guard. Jackson did not 
arrive and Magruder, on June twenty-ninth, unsupported, 
attacked at Allen's Farm and Savage's Station and was re- 
pulsed. During the night the rest of the "Union Army 
crossed the swamp and early in the morning destroyed the 

"While a portion of the Confederate Army was thus held 
on the north side of the swamp, Longstreet and Hill, moving 
by the Darbytown road, came on the troops of Ilemtzelman,, 
and June thirtieth fought the battle of Glendale, or Frayserte 
Farm, or Melrose Farm. Neither side won and during the 
night the Federal troops fell back to Malvern Hill. The 
Confederates followed, attacked July first and were badly 
beaten. This ended the "Seven Days' Battles." McClellan 
fell back to Harrison's Landing. Lee retired to the de- 
fenses around Eichmond.* 

* Federal loss in the "Seven Days' Battles" was killed, 1734; 
wounded, 8062; missing, 6053; in all, 15,859. Confederate loss, killed, 
3286; wounded, 15,909; missing, 940; total, 20,135. 


So strict was the censorship of the press that the people 
knew nothing of what was happening. The first hint of 
serious fighting was the receipt of two telegrams from staff 
officers to relatives in Philadelphia, the one announcing! 
that "all our friends are well" ; * the other that, "I am all 
right." f A dispatch from the Associated Press agent at 
Baltimore stated that a correspondent had come from the 
front with particulars of a three days 7 fight and probable 
capture of Richmond and that his story would be sent to 
Northern journals at once. Unhappily, the Secretary ol 
War did not think it prudent to allow the news to go over 
the wires. That a battle, or several battles, had been fought 
was now so certain that all day long, June thirtieth, excite- 
ment in Philadelphia and "New York was intense. 'Not 
since the capture of Sumter, said a !N"ew York journal, had 
there been such a fever of excitement. Only those who 
mingled with the crowds could have any idea of its intensity. 
Reports of the fights at Hechanicsville and G-aines's Mill 
were published July first; but it was not until the people 
read their newspapers on the fourth that they knew what 
had happened during McClellan's change of base. 

During his retreat, as during his advance, McClellan 
called earnestly for troops. June twenty-fifth, the day he 
pushed forward his picket lines in front of Seven Pines, the 
day Stanton informed him that Jackson was moving towards 
Richmond, he telegraphed that the rebel army numbered at 
least two hundred thousand; that lie would have to fight 
vastly superior numbers, but would do the best he could to 
hold his position. He regretted his inferiority in numbers, 
but felt "in no way responsible for it," as he had "not failed 
to represent repeatedly the necessity of reinforcements." $ 

Just after midnight on the twenty-seventh, reporting his 
defeat at Gaines's Mill, he again blames the President. 
"Had I twenty thousand or even ten thousand fresh troops 

*To Dr. John McClellan. from Arthur McClellan, Philadelphia 
Inquirer, June 30, 1862. 

f Ibid. 

| McClellan to Stanton, June 25, 6:15 P.M., 1862, Official Eecords, 
Series 1, vol. xi, Part 1, p. 51. 

222 DEFEATS. CHAP. x. 

to use to-morrow I could take Richmond, but I have not a 
man in reserve and shall be glad to cover my retreat." "I 
have lost this battle because my force was too small. 73 "I 
again repeat that I am not responsible for this." "I only 
wish to say to the President that I think he is wrong in 
regarding me as ungenerous when I said that my force was 
too weak. I merely intimated a truth which to-day has 
been too plainly proved. If, at this instant I could dispose 
of ten thousand fresh men, I could gain a victory to-morrow. ?; 
"If I save this army now, I tell you plainly that I owe no 
thanks to you or to any other person in Washington. You 
have done your best to sacrifice this army." *" 

During three days nothing was heard from McClellan. 
Then came more disheartening news and calls for men. He 
might have to abandon material to save the army. He must 
have very large reinforcements very promptly, f He must 
have fifty thousand more men. $ When at last he was safe 
at Harrison's Landing, Lincoln replied. "Allow me," he 
said, "to reason with you a moment. When you ask for 
fifty thousand men to be promptly sent you, you surely labor 
under some gross mistake of facts. All of Fr&nont's men 
in the Valley, all of Banks's, all of McDowell's not with 
you, and all in Washington taken together, do not exceed, if 
they reach, sixty thousand. Thus the idea of sending fifty 
thousand or any other considerable force, promptly, is simply 
absurd." "Save the army, material and personnel and I 
will strengthen it for the offensive again as fast as I can/ 
The Governors of eighteen States offer me a new levy of 
three hundred thousand which I accept." 

Troops, it was plain, must be had. On the day Lincoln 
received McClellan's impudent dispatch he decided therefore 
to call for at least one hundred and fifty thousand men to 
serve for three years or the war. To have done so by procla- 
mation when the Army of the Potomac was beaten and fall- 

* McClellan to Stanton, June 28, 12:20 A.M., 1862, Official Kecords, 
Series 1, vol. xi, Part 1, p. 61. 

t Ibid., Turkey Bridge, June 30, 7 P.M., Part 3, p. 280. 

$To Adjutant General, Turkey Island, July 1, 2:45 A.M., ibid., 
E- 281. 


Ing back would have caused panic, or at least serious alarm. 
Far better to Lave it seem as if the Governors of the loyal 
States by their own free will had made a tender. To accom- 
plish this Seward was chosen as his agent, was provided 
with a letter and sent to New York City. Addressed to 
Seward it set forth that the evacuation of Corinth and the 
delay caused by flood in the Chickahominy had enabled the 
enemy to concentrate about Richmond too great a force for 
McClellan to attack. Were all the troops around Washing- 
ton sent him, the enemy would hurry from Eichmond and 
take Washington. Were a large part of the Western Army 
sent him, the enemy would give up Eichmond and retake 
Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri. But the West must be 
held, the Mississippi opened and Chattanooga taken. Let 
the country, then, give a hundred thousand men in the 
shortest possible time. Sent to McClellan they would en- 
able him to capture Eichmond without endangering any 
other place and end the war. "I expect/' he wrote, "to 
maintain this contest until successful, or till I die, or am 
conquered, or my term expires, or Congress, or the Country 
forsakes me; and I would publicly appeal to the country 
for the new force were it not that I fear a general panic and 
stampede would follow, so hard is it to have a thing under- 
stood as it really is. 

Eather than hazard the misapprehension of the military 
situation and cause a groundless alarm by a call for troops 
by proclamation, he deemed it best to appeal to the Gov- 
ernors and to say that one hundred and fifty thousand men, 
including those lately called for by the Secretary of War, 
are needed without delay.* 

Seward telegraphed Governor Morgan of New York and 
Thurlow Weed to meet him at the Astor House the next 
nightjf hurried by special train to "New York and found 
them waiting. Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania soon joined 
them and by afternoon of Monday, June thirtieth, it was 
arranged that the Governors of the loyal States should be 
asked to sign a joint letter to Lincoln, urging him to call 

* Official Records, Series 3, vol. ii, pp. 179-180. 
f Ibid., June 28, 1862, p. 181. 

224 DEFEATS. CHAP. s> 

for troops, thkt lie should agree to do so, and a copy of the 
proposed letter from the Governors, and the reply Lincoln 
was to make were telegraphed Stanton.* Morgan and 
Curtin then appealed by telegraph to the Governor of each 
loyal State to authorize them to put his name to the letter 
and late in the evening Stanton telegraphed his approval 
of the plan. Lincoln had gone to the country very tired, 
his answer would come on the morrow, f At ten o'clock 
that night Seward telegraphed for information bearing on 
a question under discussion. Would Stanton authorize 
a promise to advance each recruit twenty-five dollars of 
his one-hundred-dollar bounty? It was thought "in New 
York and in Massachusetts that without such payment re- 
cruiting will be difficult and with it probably entirely suc- 
cessful." $ 

The morrow, July first, brought the approval of Lincoln. 
and the reply of Stanton. He could not lawfully give such 
authority, but would see the Military Committee. || Seward 
answered that the advance of twenty-five dollars was most 
important, that he could not wait for debate, that he was 
going to Boston that night, f Lincoln now received word 
from McOlellan that the army had fallen back to Turkey 
Island, that it was hard pressed by superior numbers and 
that large reinforcements must be sent at once."*" 551 Stanton 
then gave way, took the responsibility and issued an order 
to pay the twenty-five dollars in advance, f f By afternoon 
most of the Governors had been heard from and Seward 
telegraphed, "The Governors respond and the Union Com- 
mittee approve earnestly and unanimously. . . . Let the 
President make the order and let both papers come out in 
to-morrow morning's papers if possible. The number of 
troops is left for the President to fix. No one proposes less 

* Official Records, Series 3, voL ii, June 30, 1862, pp, 181-182. 183. 

f Ibid., p. 182, 

$Ibid., p. 182, 

Ibid., p. 186. 

[[ Ibid, 

If Ibid. 

** Ibid,, Series 1, vol. ii, Part 3, p. 28$. 

tf Ibid., Series 3, vol. ii, p. 187. 

1862 THE FIRST DRAFT. 225 

than two hundred thousand; mate it three hundred thousand 
if you wish." * 

The President did so wish and July second there ap- 
peared in the newspapers in the Eastern States what seemed 
to be a tender and acceptance of troops. One by one the 
Governors issued proclamations calling for volunteers to fill 
regiments in the field and to form such new ones as might 
be necessary. Recruiting offices were reopened, another up- 
rising of the people followed and everything that could be 
done was done to stimulate enlistment. But despite war 
meetings, patriotic resolutions and great bounties, the re- 
sponse to the call was not what had been expected. The 
thinned ranks were not filled up, nor were all the new regi- 
ments needed obtained. Excuses of many sorts were made 
for this failure. It was harvest time; business which had 
been poor since the war opened was reviving rapidly; wages 
were rising ; the demand for men in occupations of all sorts 
was great. A quick response could not be expected. [Never- 
theless the need for men was pressing and to get them the 
Secretary of War announced on August fourth that there 
would be a draft of three hundred thousand militia to serve 
for nine months, and that, if by August fifteenth any 
State had not filled its quota of volunteers the deficit would 
be made up by drawing from the enrolled militia, or in 
other words, men of military age. There were thus two 
separate calls. One for three hundred thousand volunteers 
for the war and one for three hundred thousand militia to 
serve nine months. If the quota of a State was twenty- 
five thousand under the first call, it would be the same under 
the second, making a total of fifty thousand. From this was 
to be deducted all volunteers for the war enlisted in the 
State and mustered into old and new regiments between 
July second and September first. What remained was to be 
obtained by draft, f 

2vTo sooner was the announcement made than a stampede 
began. Natives hurried by thousands to file exemption 
claims, or prepared to go overseas, or to Canada. Within 

* Official Records, Series 3, vol. ii, p. 187. 
t Ibid., p. 478. 

226 DEFEATS. OHAP. x. 

ten days, fourteen thousand claims were filed with the County 
Clerk in New York City, and the passport bureau, which 
in ordinary times employed one clerk, took on two more and 
received in fees as much as three hundred dollars a day. 

Aliens went to the nearest Consulate of their country. 
Day after day the office of the British Consul at New York 
was besieged by men clamoring for certificates of alienage. 
Such as had not made a declaration of intention to become 
citizens were told to file their names with the County Clerk. 
What should be done with those who had made declarations 
the Consul did not know. Seward soon informed the British 
Charge that such persons had never been considered citizens, 
never treated as such, never granted passports and were 
therefore exempt.* In Baltimore disloyal persons were 
accused of sending their sons away and the British Con- 
sulate was crowded with men seeking exemption, f And so 
it was in St. Louis. Everywhere this rush of aliens excited 
deep disgust. That men who had lived long in our country, 
and prospered greatly, should now refuse their help, was 
declared cowardly. In Cincinnati this feeling ran so high 
that the Irish summoned their countrymen to raise a regi- 
ment; the Germans in public meeting denounced all aliens 
who, having lived five years in the country, sought exemp- 
tion, and the Commercial published the names of nearly five 
hundred who had filed claims. $ 

To put an end to the exodus, citizens of the United States, 
liable to be drafted, were forbidden to go to a foreign land. 
Marshals, deputy Marshals and military officers were di- 
rected, and police authorities at the seaports and on the 
frontier were requested to put the order into effect, arrest 
and detain any person about to depart, and report to the 
Judge Advocate General at Washington. Any one liable to 
draft who left his State or county before the drawing was 
made might be arrested by any Provost Marshal, taken to 
the nearest military post and assigned to military duty for 

* Cincinnati Commercial, August 26, and September 1, 1862. Also 
advertisement of British Attache's, August 26, 1862. 
f Baltimore American, August 3, 1862. 
$ Cincinnati Commercial, August 27, 1862. 



nine months. All so arrested, and all taken Into custody for 
disloyal practices were denied the benefit of the writ of 
habeas corpus. Governors might issue passes or permits to 
travel to citizens of their States, for it was not intended to 
stop their going from State to State. But any one a Marshal 
thought had left his State, county or military district to 
evade the draft, must he arrested.* 

At New Tort City on sailing day none were allowed to 
depart save men over sixty, women and children, and not 
even these unless they had passage tickets. One vessel was 
overtaken at sea and all male passengers removed. Another 
was stopped off the Lightship and a hundred and twenty 
brought hack. Four hundred were not permitted to hoard 
the Etna, and two hundred were prevented entering the 
Saxonia. At Detroit, "before the order issued, trains came 
in loaded with men from the "West fleeing to Canada. 
August eighth five hundred crossed the river. Windsor was 
full. Every bed, bench and plank, it was said, had an occu- 
pant from the United States. During four days the rush 
was "perfectly tremendous/' f Chicago "presented the dis- 
graceful spectacle of full-gro\fai, able-bodied men slinking 
off to Canada." $ The Superintendent of Police stopped 
an eastbound train and took twenty-six men on their way 
to Detroit. In Milwaukee conditions were the same. Many 
were taken from the propellers; but a "great crowd" made 
their way to Canada. 

How conscription should be conducted was now made 
known by the Adjutant General at Washington. Governors 
must prepare at once to furnish the quotas of their States, 
designate rendezvous for drafted men and order the enroll- 
ment of all able-bodied men from eighteen to forty-five years 
of age. When enrollment was finished, lists must be filed 
with Sheriffs of the counties. For each city and county a 
Commissioner must be appointed to hear claims for exemp- 
tion and give notice of the hearings by handbills. On the 
day named for the drawing the Sheriff, or some one chosen 

* Official Records, Series 3, vol. ii, p. 370. 
f Detroit Free Press, August 9, 1862. 
$ Chicago Tribune, August 9, 1862. 

228 DEFEATS. CHAP. x. 

by the Commissioner, must publicly put into a wheel, or box, 
such as was used for selecting jurors, a folded ballot on 
which was written the name of a man subject to draft, and 
continue to do so until the names of all on the enrollment 
list were in the wheel. This done a blindfolded man must 
draw a number of names equal to the quota of the county 
or city. Anybody so drawn might offer a substitute, but 
he must act quickly, for five days after the drawing the 
conscript must report at the county seat and go to camp. 

A new sort of commission business sprang up at once, 
and men calling themselves brokers advertised to furnish 
substitutes for those who could afford to pay the price. This 
was held to be a hindrance to volunteering and fell under 
an order lately issued by Stanton that anybody who by act, 
speech or writing discouraged volunteering should be ar- 
rested and imprisoned. The Provost Marshal in New York 
City, therefore, warned the newspapers that procuring sub- 
stitutes in advance of the draft, or publishing advertisements 
to procure them, was discouraging volunteering and made 
both brokers and editors liable to arrest. 

That a draft should be necessary was felt in many places 
to be such a mark of shame that earnest efforts were made 
to avoid it by securing volunteers. In Boston, during a 
week ; at the sound of the City Hall bell shops were closed 
each day at two o'clock to enable employees to go forth 
and aid in encouraging enlistment.* The Mayor of Jersey 
City called a public meeting to take action to avoid a draft. 
A meeting at Hoboken raised a fund to pay one hundred 
and fifty dollars, over and above the State and Federal 
bounties, to each volunteer under the call for nine months' 

In JTew York City the Postmaster reminded his clerks 
that, while not allowed to bear arms, they could do mucK 
by personal exertion and influence, and that he expected each 
to secure at least one recruit before the fifteenth of August. 
They promptly raised five thousand dollars to aid recruiting. 
Customhouse clerks gave a festival for the benefit of Sickles' 

* Chicago Tribune, August 11 and 12, 1862. 
t Ibid., August 22, 1862. 


Brigade, and the Aldermen voted to Tborrow two hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars that the Mayor might give fifty 
dollars 7 bounty, in addition to all others, to each able-bodied 
man who, within twenty days, enlisted in any of the city 
regiments then at the front.* In Iowa opposition to en- 
listing was so great that Stanton authorized the Governor 
to begin drafting whenever he pleased, f Under order from 
the Secretary the editor of the Dubuque Herald was arrested 
for obstructing volunteering. $ 

Governor Sprague of Ehode Island called the Legislature 
in special session, because, he said, the large bounties offered 
by cities and towns in order to raise their quotas caused 
discontent among the State troops in the field and because 
the overbidding among the towns was rolling up a large debt 
unequally distributed among the people. In Cincinnati the 
bidding for volunteers by recruiting officers and by indi- 
viduals who sought to raise a company and get a commission 
became worse than ever. The Superintendent of the Cin- 
cinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Eailroad offered twenty 
dollars for each recruit, up to two hundred, who, before 
August eighteenth, joined the Eighty-third Eeglment A 
firm offered forty dollars 7 bounty and two loaves of bread a 
day for one year to the families of each of four new recruits 
who joined any regiment. If the recruit were unmarried 
he should have ten dollars extra in lieu of bread. The Cin- 
cinnati Times pledged itself to pay five dollars per week to 
the families of its married employees who enlisted and to 
continue payments so long as they remained in the service, 
and to hold their positions till they returned. Single men 
were to get two dollars a week. Despairing of raising a 
bounty fund by subscription the Military Committee ap- 
pealed to the Board of Commissioners of Hamilton County 
to issue bonds. The best they could do was to agree to 
ask the legislature for authority to refund to subscribers 
the amount they gave. |I Thereupon the Military Committee 

* New York Herald, August T, 1862. 

t Cincinnati Commercial, August 1, 1862. 

t Ibid., August 15, 1862. 

Ibid., August 2, 1862. 

|| Ibid., August 4, 1862. 



announced that each recruit should have fifty dollars; but, 
if he received any money from recruiting officers or indi- 
viduals the amount would be subtracted from the fifty 

As the day when conscription was to begin drew near, a 
dispatch was sent to the Governors of the loyal States asking 
if they would be ready on September third, f Seven an- 
swered that they hoped to be, eight that they could not be 
and four that they would be. $ Thereupon they were in- 
formed they might postpone the draft if they chose, but 
responsibility for delay would rest with those who did. 
Thirteen at once announced postponement. || Slowness of 
assessors in enrolling men of military age ; slowness of hear- 
ing claims for exemption; inability of Governors to assign 
quotas to counties, cities, towns; dread of the consequences 
if conscription were made before the autumn elections caused 
it to be put off in many of the Eastern States in the hope 
that volunteering would supply the men required and efforts 
to obtain them were redoubled. Bailies were held, bounties 
increased, appeals renewed. Resisting enrollment and dis- 
couraging volunteering became so common that Lincoln 
made them subjects of a proclamation in which he declared 
that during the existing insurrection all rebels and insur- 
gents, their aiders and abbettors and persons discouraging 
enlistment, resisting draft or guilty of any disloyal practice 
should be subject to martial law and be denied the benefit 
of the writ of haleas corpus. 1f Nevertheless, resistance con- 
tinued. In Cleveland, when the draft was about to begin, 
crowds gathered before two offices and sought to destroy the 
enrollment sheets and break the revolving boxes. Five men 
chosen by the crowd were allowed to examine the lists and 

* Cincinnati Commercial, August 11, 1862. 

f Official Becords, Series 3, vol. ii, p. 440, August 23, 1862. 

$Ibid., pp. 446-456, 472. 

Ibid., p. 471, August 27, 1862. 

|| Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Khode Island to September 10; New 
Hampshire, New York, Maryland, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri to 
September 15; Ohio to September 16; Massachusetts to September 17; 
Kentucky to the 30th and Minnesota to October 3. 

If Richardson, Messages- and Papers of the President, voL vi, p. 98. 



ike drawings were made. At Bucyrus, Ohio, drafted men, 
on the day on which they were to go to camp, marched to 
the town square and gave three cheers for "the Constitution 
as it is, and the Union as it was," and "three cheers that 
we don't fight to free the niggers." * At Hartford, Indiana, 
Copperheads, on draft day ; destroyed the rolls and boxes 
and forced the Commissioner to resign. When the "boxes? 
were pnt upon the table in the Court House in Port Wash- 
ington, Wisconsin, the crowd rushed forward, smashed 
them, chased the Commissioner from one place of refuge to 
another and did so much damage to property that troops 
were sent to restore order. In several counties in Maryland 
the rolls were torn to pieces and the Marshals and their 
helpers put to flight. 

Having driven McClellan away, Lee was soon forced to 
meet a new army preparing to advance on Eichmond. On 
the day he began the turning movement which sent 
McClellan to Harrison's Landing, Lincoln, seeing no further 
use for the corps of Bants and Fremont in the Shenandoah 
Valley, joined them with that of McDowell at Manassas, 
formed the Army of Virginia and placed General Pope in 
command, f Fremont outranked Pope, refused to serve, and 
resigned. His corps was given to Sigel. Pope's duty was 
to defend Washington and by a demonstration draw troops 
away from Richmond and relieve the pressure on McClellan. 
After the retreat to the James, Halleck was called from 
the West and placed in command of all the land forces of 
the United States $ and by his advice Lincoln ordered 
McClellan to bring his army to Aquia Creek and Join the 
Army of Virginia. 

!N"o sooner did Pope take command than he proceeded to 
gather his scattered corps, and by mid-July Banks was at 
Sperryville, Sigel at Little Washington and McDowell at 
Manassas. To the army thus assembled he issued an ad- 
dress. "I have come to you," he said, "from the West, where 

* Cleveland Leader, October 11, 1862. 
f Official Records, Series 1, vol. xii, Part 3, p. 588. 
tlbid., vol. ii, Part 3, p. 313, July 11, 1862. 
Ibid., vol. ii, Part 3, p. 80, 

232 DEFEATS. CHAP. x. 

we have always seen tlae backs of our enemies, from an army 
whose "business it lias been to seek the adversary and to 
beat him when he was found. ... I presume that I have 
been called here to pursue the same system and to lead you 
against the enemy. It is my purpose to do so and that 
speedily." * August first Pope joined his army and by the 
middle of the month moved it to Culpeper. Lee, aware that! 
McClellan's army was slipping away to join Pope deter- 
mined to attack him before the two armies joined, moved to 
Gordonsville and prepared his plan. Pope, informed of 
this by a captured dispatch, fell back across the Kappa- 
hannock. Lee followed, and, retaining a force to occupy 
Pope, sent off Jackson to get in the rear of the Union Army. 
By quick marching he reached Manassas Junction, tore up 
the railroad, cut the telegraph wires and captured large 
supplies of food, clothing and shoes, and raided the country 
between Bull Eun and Alexandria. Pope set off to catch 
him and brought on a sharp fight late on the afternoon of 
August twenty-eighth. On the morrow the fight was re- 
newed. The battle was desperately fought from early morn- 
ing until nine at night, when the Confederates withdrew. 
Sure that he had won a victory Pope that night informed 
Halleck that a battle lasting from daylight to dark had 
been fought, that the enemy was driven from the field, that 
his men were too exhausted to follow, but would do so in 
the morning, and that the fight was on the identical field 
of Bull Eun, which greatly increased the enthusiasm of his 1 
men. f McDowell also thought it was a victory and tele- 
graphed Chase to "Please telegraph Mrs. McDowell that I 
have gone through a second battle of Bull Eun on the iden- 
tical field of last year ; and unhurt. The victory is undoubt- 
edly ours." 

On the morning of Saturday, the thirtieth^ accordingly, 
the battle was renewed and Pope, who had come out of 
the West to seek his adversary and beat him a saw his crushed 
and routed army flee from the field. Pope telegraphed that 

* Official Eecords, Series 1, vol. xii, Part 3, p. 474, July 14, 1802, 
f Pope to Halleck, August 29, 1862. Ibid,, p. 741. 



both officers and men. were badly demoralized and were 
possessed with the idea that they "must get behind the en- 
trenchment." ^ "The straggling is awful in the regiments 
from the Peninsula. Unless something can be done to re- 
store tone to this army it will melt away before you know 
it." * He was at once ordered to bring his forces within 
or near the fortifications. f 

On receipt of the news of the battle of the twenty-ninth 
every possible effort was made to care for the wounded. 
The College at Georgetown, the upper story of the Patent 
Office, parts of the Capitol, were turned into hospitals; citi- 
zens were asked to open their homes to the wounded, and 
the Surgeon-General appealed to the women and children the 
country over to scrape lint. None was to be had in market; 
nevertheless it was an absolutely indispensable article and 
must be obtained. Any one could make it.$ At his urgent 
request three thousand convalescent soldiers were sent to 
Philadelphia or New York, and by order of Stanton stages, 
hacks, carriages were impressed to carry them from the 
hospitals, to the depot. Their cots were needed for the 
wounded. Colonel Thomas A. Scott at Philadelphia was 
informed that a great battle had been fought "on the very 
ground of Bull Run," that volunteer surgeons were needed, 
that all that could be obtained should be sent at once to re- 
port to the Surgeon-General at Washington, and during the 
afternoon placards were posted about the streets calling for 
volunteer nurses to bury the dead and aid the wounded. 
Each was to bring a bucket and tin cup that he might serve 
water to the wounded, bring a bottle of brandy, and, if pos- 
sible, find transportation. If he could not, the Government 
would provide it. "Within a couple of hours a great crowd, 
some said a thousand men, gathered before the War Office. 
Many were sent by railroad, many found places in the hun- 
dreds of improvised ambulances that were rushed to the field 
of battle; many crossed by Long Bridge, went to Alexandria 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. xii, Part 3, p. 777. 

f Ibid., pp. 777, 778. 

$ National Intelligencer, September 3, 1862. 

Official Eecords, Series 1, vol. xiii, Part 3, p. 766. 


and clamored for transportation. On the following morning 
the officer in charge of Military Railroads complained to 
Marcy of "the drunken rabble who came out as nurses." 
Large numbers "were drunk and disorderly," and of no use 

Nevertheless he sent them off to Fairfax Station and 
bade the officer there in charge arrest all who arrived drunk 
and send them back by the next train. Large numbers he 
understood were returning satisfied with the experiences of 
one night.* Many went with no preparation and little food, 
and when they reached Fairfax Station in a pouring rain, 
and were told they must walk some twelve miles to Fairfax 
Court House, lost heart and returned. "Not more than 
seventy-five of the thousand reached the battlefield. Among 
them were a few clerks from the Auditor's and Adjutant 
General's offices. They seized on a conveyance, forced the 
driver to take them to Fairfax Court House, went on to 
Centreville and found the church full of wounded, begging 
for food and water. The battlefield was then in the hands 
of the enemy, who would allow neither nurse nor surgeon 
to come upon it under flag of truce until Monday morning, 
when two hundred ambulances went out to a hill beyond the 
stone bridge. There the surgeons were lined up on one hand 
and the nurses on the other, divided into squads and sent to 
the field. The dead they found stripped of shoes, coats and 
trousers. The wounded were in shocking condition, but by 
evening as many as possible were packed into the ambulances, 
and after a delay caused by the rebels exacting a parole from 
each, started on Tuesday for Centreville, which was found 
in possession of the enemy. There the train was stopped and 
nurses and wounded sent over the worst of roads to Jack- 
son's headquarters fifteen miles away. After much per- 
suasion Jackson gave a written pass and by ten o'clock on 
the morning of Wednesday the train again reached Centre- 
ville. The day was spent in redressing wounds and late in 
the afternoon the journey to Washington was resumed. 
Those who went by ambulance found the road to Centreville 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. xii, Part 3, p. 77Q. 



crowded all day Sunday with, vehicles of every sort carrying 
food, medical supplies and surgeons.* 

Heads of departments requested their clerks and em- 
ployees to go as nurses and made Maryland Avenue and 
Eighth Street the gathering place. Almost to a man they 
volunteered and after nine at night in two hundred stages, 
wagons, hacks and all sorts of vehicles on springs set ofi 
on their errand of mercy. Most of the vehicles had teen 
all day in service carrying convalescents to the depots. The 
horses were tired and quite unfit for the journey before them. 
Nevertheless the start was made and the long line of con- 
veyances wound its way through Georgetown, passed over 
the Aqueduct Bridge and went on towards Falls Church. 
Long ere that place was reached horses had given out, axles 
had broken and the roadside was strewn with abandoned 
vehicles whose occupants went back on foot to Alexandria.f 
At daybreak such as pushed on arrived at Fairfax Court 
House in a drenching rain. From there to Centreville the 
road was full of troops, stragglers, paroled prisoners. As 
the hacks went up the heights at Centreville but sixteen of 
the two hundred were present A few nurses pushed on, 
were taken prisoners, sent to Libby Prison and finally 
paroled. On Monday thirty civilians and some unwounded 
soldiers whose duty it was to bury the dead went out to the 
battlefield. The rebels seized the negro drivers of the ambu- 
lances, but the civilians were suffered to gather up the 
wounded and carry them to the orchard where the surgeons 
were at work. The dead they found stripped of coats, trou- 
sers and shoes. 

It may have been, the ignorance of the drivers; it may 
have been the darkness of the night; it may have been the 
brandy each was requested to carry; it may have been all 
combined that brought to naught the patriotic undertaking 
of others who went in the hacks, for to naught it came. All 

* The experiences of several who went to the field are given in the 
New York Herald, September 6, 8, 15, 1862. 

f New York Herald, September 2, 1862. 

$New York Tribune, September 12, 1862. Also National Intelli- 
gencer, September 1, 1862. 

236 DEFEATS. CHAP. x. 

fright they jolted over roads and byroads and at dawn entered 
what they supposed was Centreville to find themselves in 
Alexandria. Stanton promptly ordered them home. 

The call for lint, linen, bandages, liquor, hospital supplies 
was instantly met. By Sunday evening surgeons had left 
Philadelphia. In New York Mayor Opdyke summoned! 
physicians to meet in the Fifth Avenue Hotel, where thirty 
offered to go. In Brooklyn each policeman notified all phy- 
sicians living within his beat to attend a meeting. Over 
one hundred came, forty offered and seven started at once. 
The call for twenty surgeons and hospital supplies reached 
Boston on Saturday night, was published in the Sunday 
newspapers, was spread by the war committees of the wards 
and read from the pulpits. In some of the churches the 
congregations were dismissed after prayers. In a little 
while contributions began to pour into Tremont Temple. 
Men and women came by scores to sort the packages and 
pack them in cases. In the Toung Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation, the rooms, the halls leading to the auditorium, the 
auditorium and the galleries were crowded with women 
scraping lint and tearing sheets to make bandages. In the 
street before the Temple were tables where money was col- 
lected and fifty-two hundred dollars were paid down. Adams 
Express Company took charge of the cases when packed and 
delivered them without cost at Washington. When the train 
left at six o'clock that night it carried away twenty-one 
hundred cases. In the passenger train which followed were 
surgeons, the Mayor, several aldermen and a score of police- 
men to see that the supplies were properly cared for on their 
arrival at the Capital and on the way. 

September first brought no heartening news. N"o one 
could go to the battlefields, nor by bridge or ferry to Alex- 
andria without a pass. The sale of liquor was forbidden lest 
the people become excited should more bad news come. 
Washington was in a panic. A gunboat was anchored off 
the White House for the use of the President should it 
become necessary for him to flee. The Treasury and the 
banks made ready to send off their money. Long trains of 
army wagons and hundreds of men who had lost their regi- 


ments and officers who tad lost their men poured into the 
city.* On the second McClellan was placed in command of 
all the troops for the defense of Washington. A war steamer 
was sent to the Navy Yard ; some gunboats were anchored in 
the river; Halleek asked that all available troops be sent on 
at once; and by order of Lincoln the clerks and employees 
In the civil department were required to enroll in companies 
and drill. 

In the midst of this commotion, anxiety and depression 
which now spread over the North, came news of the invasion 
of Kentucky by Kirby Smith. After Shiloh the Confed- 
erates fell back some sixty miles to Tupelo, where Beaure- 
gard was succeeded by Bragg. Early in June Buell set off 
for Chattanooga, but moved so slowly that Bragg got there 
first. At Enoxville was another Confederate army under 
Kirby Smith. Encouraged by the failures of McClellan on 
the Peninsula he proposed to Bragg that they invade Ken- 
tucky and enable the people to bring that State into the Con- 
federacy. With this purpose in view Smith left Knoxville, 
late in August, crossed the mountains, defeated a little force 
of Union men near Richmond, pushed on to Lexington, de- 
inanded and received its surrender, and drove the Union 
forces back towards Covington, a town on the bank of the 
Ohio opposite Cincinnati. The legislature, then in session! 
at Frankfort, fled to Louisville; the Governor declared the 
State invaded by an insolent foe, her honor insulted, her 
peace destroyed and called loyal men to arms. Cincinnati 
was thrown into great excitement. General Wright, who 
commanded the department, put Lew Wallace in charge of 
the defense of Cincinnati, Covington and Newport, and 
Wallace at once ordered business suspended and shops closed 
at nine o'clock on the morning of September second, pro- 
claimed martial law, forbade the sale of liquor, stopped the 
ferryboats and required all able-bodied men to meet at some 
convenient place in their wards at ten o'clock, drill and be 
ready for orders. "Citizens for labor, soldiers for battle.' 7 
On that day no horse cars ran in the streets, steamboats, coal 

* Washington under Banks. Lieutenant Colonel R. B. Irwin, Battles 
and Leaders, vol. ii, p. 541-543. 



"boats, flats, water craft large and small, were towed from 
the Kentucky to the Ohio side of the river, the women were 
asked to make bandages and tents, and fortifications were 
begun. The police walked their beats armed with muskets 
and bayonets. Hotels, eating-houses, coffeehouses, places of 
amusement were closed, for every able-bodied man must dig 
or drill. Physicians might tend the sick. Butchers and 
bakers, grocers, milkmen and druggists might keep open 
their shops; undertakers, telegraphers, newspapermen might 
go on with their work ; banks and bankers might open their 
offices for one hour; but all other forms of business and 
labor must cease. Until a bridge of boats was built across 
the river, communication with Covington was cut off. Even 
when built no one could cross it or indeed leave the city 
without a pass. The Governor called for men from all the 
river counties to hasten to Cincinnati. If possible, they 
were to bring their own arms. About a thousand brought 
squirrel guns, were organized as a regiment and became 
known as the "Squirrel Hunters. 77 Before a week ended, 
as the enemy did not advance, the excitement quieted down 
and business was resumed each day until four o 7 clock, when 
drilling began. The ringing of all the church bells was to 
be the signal for the men to gather at the rendezvous pre- 
pared to fight.* At Louisville preparations were made for 
defense, men drilled and cotton and valuables were sent 
across the river to Indiana. 

Bragg, who left Chattanooga late in August, was then 
nearing the Cumberland River on his way north to Louis- 
ville. Buell, -expecting Bragg to attack Nashville, had! 
gathered his army at Murf reesboro ; but hearing of the de- 
feat at Richmond, started in pursuit of Bragg and the two 
armies began a race across Tennessee and Kentucky with' 
Louisville the goal. At the end of a week Buell was at 
Bowling Green and Bragg at Glasgow. He was then in 
Kentucky, and misled by the assurances that once his army 
was in the State the people would rise and rally around him, 
he issued a proclamation and summoned them to do so. 

* Cincinnati Commercial, September 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1862, 


Much to his chagrin no rising of the people, no rush of 
young men to his army followed the appeal. The plan to 
capture Louisville was now abandoned. He knew Buell 
was in hot pursuit; yet he rested two days at Glasgow and 
wasted two more on the capture of a little garrison at Mun- 
f ordsville and then awaited the coming Buell. During three 
idays the two armies faced each other, neither daring to 
attack. Bragg then moved northeastward to Bardstown and 
Buell went direct to Louisville.* 

* September 14, 1862. Official Records, Series 1, vol. xvi, Part 2, 
p. 822. 




THAT Lee should threaten Washington and Baltimore, 
and Kirby Smith Cincinnati and Louisville, at the sam 
time, was alarming and humiliating. But more alarming 
still were the rumors that Lee was on his way to Maryland. 
He had never intended to attack Washington. Having 
beaten Pope and driven him within the fortification>s Lee 
must go on or go back. To go on and enter Maryland was 
most alluring. The people he believed would rise, rally 
round him and put their State in the Confederacy. If 
'successful he might enter Pennsylvania, or perhaps destroy 
McClellan's weakened and demoralized army and conquer 
a peace. Full of such hopes he left Chantilly on September 
third, crossed the 'Potomac at the fords above and below 
Point of Rock and camped near Frederick. 

As the enemy advanced towards Frederick neither cattle, 
horses, grain nor vegetables remained on any farm over 
which the army passed. Scouting parties swept the country 
clean for twenty miles each side of the line of march of 
horses, cattle, food. Even telegraph instruments were car- 
ried away from stations on the Baltimore and Ohio Rail- 
road. Payment was offered in Confederate money. If the 
farmer would not take it, the loss was his. At Frederick 
tradesmen closed their shops and men, women and children, 
fled away in the night to Baltimore and Pennsylvania. The 
Provost Marshal, after loading such Government stores as 
lie could and leaving ample supplies for the sick and 
wounded, burned the rest and joined the fugitives. 

About noon on the sixth Jackson's men entered the town. 
A halt was made, a Provost Marshal appointed and a procla- 
mation read. The troops then passed through the town and 
camped in the fields without. All, says one who saw them, 



were ragged ; the cavalry and artillery nearly barefoot. Some 
of the infantry marched with their feet wrapped in rags or 
rawhide. The shoes of such as had them were badly broken. 
Once in the town the enemy crowded the shops where boots, 
'clothing, groceries, drugs, tobacco, candy were for sale, took 
what they wanted and paid, some in Confederate notes, some 
in United States Treasury notes which it was believed they 
found on the bodies of the dead that lay so thick on Bull 
Run field. Angered by the contemplated draft in Maryland 
which they still considered Southern soil, they sacked the 
office of the draft officials and tore into pieces the enrollment 
lists.* Save an attack on the Examiner office no private 
property was injured. No citizen was insulted or molested, 
no house was robbed. 

Having come to rescue Maryland, Lee now issued a procla- 
mation. It was right, he said, that the people of Maryland 
should know the purpose which brought the army into their 
State. The people of the South had long beheld with the 
deepest sympathy the wrongs and outrages inflicted on the 
citizens of a State allied with them by the strongest social, 
political, commercial ties, and had seen with profound in- 
dignation their sister State reduced to the condition of a 
conquered province. Your citizens have been arrested and 
imprisoned contrary to the forms of law ; the government of 
your chief city usurped by armed strangers, your legislature 
dissolved by the unlawful arrest of members and freedom 
of speech and of the press destroyed. The people of the 
South have long wished to aid you in throwing off a foreign 
yoke. In obedience to this wish the army has come among 
you to assist in regaining rights of which you have been 
despoiled. This is our mission so far as you are concerned. 
It is for you to decide your destiny freely and without 
constraint, f 

Before pushing on into Pennsylvania Lee decided to 
change his line of communication to the Shenandoah Valley. 
The one then open was too near the Potomac. A force of 
Federal cavalry might cut it at any time. But the route 

* Frederick Citizen, September 12, 1862. 

t September 8, 1862, National Intelligencer, September 12. 


down the valley was threatened by Federal troops at Harpers 
Ferry. They must "be captured or driven out. September 
ninth, therefore, Lee issued an order directing Jackson to 
cross the Potomac and take position south of Harpers Ferry; 
McLaws to go "by Middletown and seize Maryland Heights, 
and Walker to cross below the Ferry and occupy Loudon 
Heights. Jackson set off, on the tenth, and Lee with the 
rest of his army marched to Boonsboro and Hagerstown 
near the border line of Pennsylvania. 

The farmers in Pennsylvania now went off with their 
livestock; women and children and Union men left the 
towns and the surrounding country and fled towards Harris- 
burg; and the Governor summoned all able-bodied men in 
the Commonwealth to organize and be ready for marching 
orders. The call might be sudden; each, therefore, must 
provide himself with stout clothes, boots, blankets, haver- 
sack, the best arms he could procure and sixty rounds of 

The call was sudden, for, on the following day, fifty thou- 
sand men were summoned to come with all speed to Harris- 
burg. Eeliable information, the Governor telegraphed the 
Mayor of Philadelphia, has come this evening that the rebel 
generals have moved their army from Frederick to the 
Cumberland Valley. Their destination is now Harrisburg 
and Philadelphia. Every available man needed at once. 
Stir up your population to-night. Form them in companies 
and send us twenty thousand men to-morrow.* The response 
was immediate and all day and all night for a week long 
trairjs loaded with volunteers, some in uniform, some in 
civilian clothes, some with squirrel guns and some with no 
guns at all, rolled into Harrisburg. There all were properly 
armed and in time thousands were sent to Chambersburg 
and to Hagerstown after Lee had gone. 

McClellan for five days past had been moving cautiously 
between the rebel army and Washington. He now ordered 
a general advance and entered Frederick a few hours after 
Lee's rear guard left. There was brought to him a copy of 

* Philadelphia Inquirer, September 12, 1862. 

1862 ANTIETAM. 243 

Lee's order of the ninth. A private in an Indiana regiment, 
camped on the ground occupied by Hill's troops, found it 
wrapped around three cigars.* McClellan was thus made 
aware that Lee had divided his army, had sent part to cap- 
ture the garrisons at Harpers Ferry and Middletown and 
had gone with the rest to Boonsboro and Hagerstown to 
await the return of those sent to the Ferry. A great oppor- 
tunity lay before him. By a quick advance he might get in 
between the two parts of the Army of Northern Virginia 
and destroy them. But it was daylight on the morning of 
the fourteenth before his troops set off for South Mountain 
in the passes of which, that day, they fought and won the 
battle of South Mountain and came down into the valley 
through which flowed Antietam Creek. That night the 
Confederates fell back to Sharpsburg and on the morning 
of the fifteenth the Army of the Potomac moved leisurely 
towards them. Had McClellan moved quickly and attacked 
he would have found Lee without Jackson and the men 
sent to Harpers Ferry. But he did not attack and the garri- 
son at the Ferry having surrendered early on the morning 
of the fifteenth, Jackson with a large part of the detached 
troops rejoined Lee early on the sixteenth. 

Late in the afternoon Hooker was sent across the creek 
and opened the fight ; but the great battle, one of the bloodiest 
of the war, was fought till sundown on the morrow with no 
decisive result. Both armies bivouacked on the field and 
watched each other all of the following day. After dusk 
Lee's army began slipping away, and by morning was safe 
in Virginia. 

To Lincoln the result of the battle afforded an opportunity 
for which he had long waited, an opportunity to strike a blow 
for the emancipation of the slaves. Early in 1861, as soon 
as the Union armies entered the slaveholding States, estab- 
lished camps and occupied the country, commanding officers 
found themselves called on to enforce the law for the return 
of fugitives from labor. Just what was their duty was hard 

* Officers who left Frederick on the morning of September 14 told 
of the finding and described the contents. New York Herald, September 
15, 1862. 


to decide. From the viewpoint of the President the troops 
were there to put down insurrection and enforce the Con- 
stitution and the laws. One of these laws required the 
return of fugitives from lahor. But was. it the duty of 
officers in the field to return them ? Must they do so if the 
slaves had heen forced to aid and assist the enemy ? Must 
they do so if the owner, though disloyal, had not borne arms 
against the United States ? Scarcely had Mr. Lincoln heen 
inaugurated when eight fugitives came to Fort Pickens 
thinking they were free. They were promptly delivered 
to the civil authorities."* 

A citizen of St. Louis having written to General Harney 
asking if he were right in denying that the Federal Govern- 
ment intended to interfere with slavery in Missouri, the 
General answered yes.f About the same time MeClellan in 
a proclamation to the Union men of western Virginia an- 
nounced that he had ordered troops to cross the river, that 
they came as friends and brothers and would not in any 
way interfere with their slaves. $ 

Towards the close of May three fugitives belonging to an 
officer in the Confederate Army appeared before the pickets 
at the camp of General Benjamin F. Butler and were de- 
tained. The next day Butler was visited by an agent of the 
owner and asked what he intended to do with the fugitives. 
Hold them, was the reply. Do you mean to set aside your 
constitutional obligation to return them? asked the agent. 
I mean, Butler answered, to take Virginia at her word. I 
have no constitutional obligation to a foreign country which 
Virginia now claims to be. But you say wo cannot secede. 
You cannot, therefore, consistently detain them. But you 
say you have seceded, so you cannot consistently claim them. 
I shall hold them as contraband of war since they have been 
engaged in erecting a battery. 

Well aware that the arrival within the Union lines of 

* Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 2, 
vol. i, p. 750. 

tIMd., p. 751, May 14. 
*Ibid., p. 753, May 26. 
Butler's Book, by Benjamin F. Butler, pp. 256-257. 


negro slaves of Southern owners must sooner or later call 
for the adoption of a policy as to their treatment, Butler 
now asked for instructions from Scott. Negroes in the 
neighborhood, he said, were being used by the Confederates 
to erect batteries and for other military purposes. Should 
the enemy be suffered to use this property against the United 
States, and Union officers not allowed to use it in defense of 
the United States? 

Every day brought fugitives in such numbers that Butler 
wrote again for instructions. Men, women and their chil- 
dren, entire families, each family belonging to the same 
owner had come within his lines. He had, therefore, deter- 
mined to employ the able-bodied, issue food for the support 
of all, charge against the labor of the workers the cost of 
caring for the idle, and keep a strict account as well of the 
services as of the costs. As a political question, and a ques- 
tion of humanity, could he make use of the services of the 
father and the mother and not take the children? Of the 
humanitarian aspect he had no doubt ; as to the political, he 
had no right to judge.* 

The Secretary of War approved of all that Butler had 
done.f The Government, he said, cannot recognize the re- 
jection by any State of its Federal obligations, nor refuse 
to carry out the obligations resting on itself. Butler, there- 
fore, must not permit interference by persons under his 
command with the relations of persons held to service. But 
so long as ajiy State, within which his military operations 
were conducted, remained under control of armed combi- 
nations he should refrain from surrendering fugitives to 
their alleged masters. 

Because of the defeat at Bull Run and the consequent fear 
for the safety of Washington, General Butler was deprived of 
a considerable number of troops. Forced to contract his 
lines he withdrew from the village of Hampton, where dwelt 
near a thousand negroes abandoned by their owners, or 
fugitives who had there found a refuge. What to do witK 

* Butler to Scott, May 27, 1861. Official Records, Series 2, vol. i* 
p. 752. 

f Cameron to Butler, May 30, 1861. Ibid., p. 755. 


them, as they fled from Hampton to within Ms new lines, 
he was at a loss to know and applied to the Secretary of 
War for instructions. Because of this state of affairs he 
had within his lines nine hundred men, women and children. 
What should he do with them? What was their status? 
Were they slaves ? Were they free ? Was their condition 
that of men, women and children, or were they property, or 
was it a mixture of hoth relations ? Their status under the 
Constitution and the law hefore the war was clear enough. 
But what had heen the effect of rehellion and a state of war 
on that old status? When he adopted the theory treating 
able-bodied negroes fit to work in the trenches as property, 
liable to be used in aid of rebellion and contraband of war, 
the condition of things was met in a legal and constitutional 
manner. But now new questions arose. Children certainly 
could not be treated on that basis. If property they must 
be considered the incumbrance rather than the auxiliary of 
an army and, of course, in no possible legal relation could be 
treated as contraband. Were they property? If so, they 
had been left by their masters and owners, deserted, thrown 
away, abandoned. If abandoned did they not become the 
property of the salvors ? But the salvors did not need and 
would not hold such property. Therefore, had not all prop- 
erty relations ceased? Had they not become men, women 
and children ? * 

Before Cameron replied Congress passed the Confiscation 
Act. One section provided that, if any person, claimed to 
be held to labor, or service, under the law of any State, shall 
be required or permitted by the owner to take up arms 
against the United States, or work, or be employed in any 
.fort, navy yard, dock, armory, ship or entrenchment against 
the United States, the owner shall forfeit his claim to such 
labor. Two days later, with this act before him ? Cameron 
replied to Butler. 

It was, he said, the desire of the President that all existing 
rights in all the States be fully maintained. The war was 
for the Union, and for the preservation of all constitutional 

* Butler to Cameron, July 30, 1861. New York Tribune, August 
5, 1861. 


rights of States and citizens. No question, therefore, as 
to fugitive slaves could arise in States and Territories in 
which the authority of the Union was acknowledged. But 
in States held by insurgents, where the laws of the United 
States were opposed and could not be enforced, rights de- 
pendent on their enforcement must fall, and rights dependent 
on the laws of the States in insurrection must be subordi- 
nated to military exigencies created by the insurrection. 
Both loyal and disloyal masters would be best protected by 
taking the fugitives into the service of the United States, 
employing them, keeping a record of the name and a descrip- 
tion of each fugitive, and of the name and character, as 
loyal or disloyal, of the owners. On the return of peace 
Congress would provide for compensation.* Having adopted 
Butler's contraband plan the Secretary instructed the com- 
mander of the Port Eoyal expedition to be governed in his 
treatment of runaway slaves by the letter to Butler.f Else- 
where the generals did much as they pleased. Dix directed 
that they should not be suffered to come within the lines. 
Sherman, in Kentucky, held that they should not be given 
a refuge in camp, but must be surrendered to their owners 
on demand. $ McClellan declared that the people of Ken- 
Itucky might depend upon it that their domestic institutions 
would in no manner be disturbed. Fremont, in Missouri, 
proposed to set them free. 

In a proclamation establishing martial law in Missouri 
,and defining the bounds of the occupied territory, he ordered 
all persons taken with arms in their hands, within these 
bounds, to be tried, and if found guilty, to be shot ; the real 
and personal property of those who took up arms against 
the United States, or took an active part with its enemies 
in the field was declared confiscated and their slaves, if any 
they had, were made free men. || 

"No sooner did the President read the proclamation, as 

* Official Records, Series 2, vol. i, pp. 761-762. 

t Ibid., p. 773, Cameron to Gen. T. W. Sherman, October 14, 1861. 

tlbid., p. 776, 777, 

Ibid., p. 776. To Buell, November 7, 1861. 

|| Ibid., p. 221. Proclamation of August 30, 1861, 


printed in tHe newspapers, than lie at once requested Fre- 
mont to make some changes. Two points, he wrote, "give 
me some anxiety." Should a man be shot, as threatened 
Jn the proclamation, the Confederates would certainly shoot 
best man in their hands in retaliation and so man for 
indefinitely." Therefore, he ordered that no man "he 
shot under the proclamation without" his approbation or 
consent. The paragraph concerning the confiscation of 
property and the liberation of slaves of traitorous owners 
would, he feared, alarm "our Southern Union friends and 
turn them against us, and perhaps ruin our rather fair pros- 
pects for Kentucky. Allow me therefore to ask that you 
will, as of your own motion, modify that paragraph so as 
to conform to the Confiscation Act of August, 1861."* 
This, Fremont replied, he could not do. Were he to retract 
of his own accord it would imply he had acted without re- 
flection. He must ask the President to openly direct him to 
make the change. Lincoln promptly did so. f 

In Missouri every officer in command acted as he thought 
fit. General Lane never allowed any fugitive, man, woman 
or child, who came within the lines of the Kansas Brigade 
to be given up if the negro was unwilling to go back to 
slavery. General Hunter allowed his camp to be searched 
for fugitives, but the soldiers interfered. Colonel Dodge 
ordered the property and slaves of persons in the rebel army 
seized; but the captors must "be careful, in taking the con- 
traband negroes, that their owners are aiding the enemy." 
General Halleck, when he took command of the Department 
of the Missouri in November, found a reason for excluding 
fugitives from all posts. Important information had been 
teamed to the enemy by fugitive slaves admitted within 
the Union lines. Therefore no such persons were to be 
allowed to enter the lines of any camp whatever. Fugitives 
then within such lines must be at once excluded. The 

* Proclamation of August 30, 1861. Official Records, Series 2, vol. i, 
p. 766. 

t Official Records, Series 2, vol. i, pp. 767, 768. 

2 Ibid., p. 776. 

General Order No. 3, November 20, 1861. Ibid., p. 778, 


issue would not down. Wherever the "Union Army went there 
were the fugitive slaves. Clearly they should not be left to 
be dealt with according to the opinions of each commander. 
Some general policy should be adopted. What policy? 

The President announced his to Congress in the Annual 
Message. Under the Confiscation Act, he said, the legal 
claims of certain persons to the labor of others had been 
forfeited. Numbers thus liberated were dependent on the 
United States and must be provided for in some way. Con- 
gress, he thought, should accept them from the States, ac- 
cording to some mode of valuation, set them free and colonize 
them in a climate congenial to such persons. Perhaps the 
already free colored people might be included in such 

On the sixth of March, in a message to Congress, he re- 
quested the adoption of a Joint Resolution he had carefully 
prepared. It reads: "Eesolved: That the United States 
ought to cooperate with any State which may adopt a grad- 
ual abolishment of slavery, giving to each State pecuniary 
aid to be used by such State in its discretion to compensate 
for the inconvenience, public and private, produced by such 
change of system." If, he said, the proposition does not 
meet the approval of Congress, that is the end of it. If it 
does, then the States and people interested ought to be 
notified that they may begin to consider whether they will, 
or will not, accept the offer. Financially the offer was a 
wise one. The money saved by shortening the war would 
more than meet the cost of emancipation. Any member of 
Congress with the census tables and treasury reports before 
him could see for himself how soon the current expense of 
war would buy all the slaves in any State, f 

* Richardson's Messages of the Presidents, vol. vi, p. 54. 
t Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. vii, p. 119. March 9, 

Cost of freeing the slaves in Delaware $719,200 

One day's cost of war 2,000,000 

Cost of slaves in the five Border States 

and the District of Columbia 173,043,000 

Eighty-seven days' cost of the war 174,000,000 

Lincoln to James A. McDougall, March 14, 1862. Complete Works, 
vol. vii, p. 132, 


The day after Lincoln wrote his letter a member of Con- 
gress from Maryland; on return from church, found the 
Postmaster-General in his room writing a note. It was an 
invitation to come to the White House "on the morrow and 
bring such of his colleagues as were in town. A like request 
went to the members from the other loyal slave States. When 
they were gathered together Lincoln said he believed his 
message had been misunderstood, was looked on as hostile 
to the interests they represented. He had no intention to 
injure the interests, or wound the feelings of the slave States. 
On the contrary he would protect the one and respect the 
other. The country was engaged in a terrible, wasting, 
tedious war. Great armies were in the field. As they ad- 
vanced they must, of necessity, come in contact with slaves. 
Fugitives came into the camps and caused irritation. He 
was constantly annoyed by conflicting complaints. There 
were those who found fault if the slaves were not protected 
by the army. There were those who complained if they 
were protected. These complaints kept alive, in the loyal 
slaveholding States, a spirit hostile to the Government, 
strengthened the hopes of the Confederates that the Border 
States would join them and so tended to prolong the war. 
Emancipation was exclusively under control of the States. 
There could be no coercion. He did not expect an answer on 
the spot, but he did hope they would take the matter under 
serious consideration. After some conversation, the Con- 
gressmen assured him they believed he was moved solely by 
high patriotism, and sincere devotion to the country, and 
would respectfully consider the suggestions he had made.* 

Congress adopted a new article of war, forbidding officers 
in command of naval and military forces to use them to 
return fugitives from labor ;f prohibited slavery in the 
territories ; $ set free all persons in the District of Co- 
lumbia then held to service or labor because of African 
descent; abolished slavery in the District, awarded loyal 

* Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. vii, pp. 120-128. March 
10, 1862, 
t March IB, 1862. 
$Act of June 19, 1862. 


slave owners three hundred dollars for each slave set 
free^ and appropriated one million dollars to carry out the 
provisions of the act, and one hundred thousand dollars for 
colonization,* and adopted the resolution submitted by the 
President in March; but not a cent would it appropriate to- 
wards making the resolution effective. 

Though Congress was unwilling to touch slavery save 
where its jurisdiction was sole and absolute; though the 
President did not venture to ask for more than emanci- 
pation with compensation, General Hunter did not hesitate 
to declare slavery abolished within his military jurisdiction 
by the easy process of general orders. By one order all 
"persons of color lately held to involuntary servitude" in 
Fort Pulaski and on Cockspur Island were confiscated and 
set free and thereafter were to "receive the fruits of their 
labor." f By another he put in force martial law, $ and 
then declared that, as slavery and martial law "in a free 
country were altogether incompatible, all persons hitherto 
held as slaves" in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida were 
"forever free." 

A week passed before Lincoln was made aware of Hunter's 
act by the publication of the order in the newspapers. Chase 
urged him to let it stand. He would not. "ISTo commanding 
general," he declared, "shall do such a thing upon my re- 
sponsibility without consulting me," || and, by proclamation, 
revoked the order. In the proclamation he called attention 
to his message of March sixth, to the joint resolution of 
Congress offering pecuniary aid to any State which would 
adopt a gradual abolishment of slavery, and once more ap- 
pealed to the people of the States concerned. "I do not 
argue," he said, "I beseech you to make the arguments for 
yourselves ; you cannot, if you would, be blind to the signs 
of the times." The change contemplated "would come 
gently as the dews of heaven, not rending, or wrecking any- 

* Act of April 16, 1862. 

t April 13, 1862. General Order No. 7, Official Records, Series 1, 
vol. xiv, p. 333. 
$ April 25, 1862. 

Official Becords, Series 1, vol. xiv, p. 341. 
(1 Indorsement, Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. vii, p. 167. 


thing. Will you not embrace it ?" * Neither tHe Border 
States, nor their people, nor their representatives in Con- 
gress, showed any intention to embrace it. In the last days 
of the session, therefore, he again invited the representatives 
of the loyal slaveholding States to the White House, read to 
them a carefully prepared paper and urged them to at least 
recommend the plan to the consideration of their States and 
their people. On the following day he sent to Congress a 
draft of a bill providing for compensation, in bonds, to any 
State which should abolish slavery gradually or at once.f 
Both appeals were in vain. ISTo such bill was passed by 
Congress. The majority of the representatives from the 
loyal slave States declined to recommend the plan to their 
States and people; only the minority, seven in number, 
promised to ask their people to give it calm and deliberate 

Abandoning all hope of aid from Congress and the Border 
States, Lincoln determined to act alone and read to his 
Cabinet a proclamation of emancipation. It began by warn- 
ing all persons aiding or abetting the existing rebellion to 
return to their allegiance, or suffer the forfeitures and seiz- 
ures provided by an act to "seize and confiscate property of 
rebels," went on to declare his intention to urge Congress, 
when it met again, to tender pecuniary aid to such States as 
might have then adopted, or should thereafter adopt gradual 
emancipation and ended by declaring that on January first, 
1863, all persons held as slaves in any State, or States, in 
rebellion should be "then, thenceforth and forever free." 
Seward advised delay. To issue it at that particular time 
would be most unwise. Coming on the heels of the defeats 
around Richmond, coming in the midst of the period of 
gloom and depression through which the country was then 
passing, it might "be viewed as the last measure of an 
exhausted Government, a cry for help, the Government 
stretching forth its hands to Ethiopia, ... a last shriek on 

* Riclia.rdson, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, vol. vl pp 9 
91. May 19, 1862. 

f Lincoln's Complete Works, vol. vii, pp. 270-274. 

rfrlbid., p. 276. McPherson, History of the Rebellion, pp. 213-220. 

Act of July 17, 1862. 



the retreat." He would wait until it could be given "to 
the country supported by military success" and not "as 
would be the case now, upon the greatest disaster of the 
war." * Struck by the soundness of Seward's advice, Lin- 
coln put by his proclamation and awaited a victory. From 
that day the matter had rarely been absent from his thoughts. 
Indeed, neither radical men nor the radical press would 
suffer it to be absent. To their attacks, to their threats that 
there could be no reunion with slaveholding States, to their 
insistence that slavery be at once abolished, he made no 
public reply until, in August, Greeley published, "The 
Prayer of Twenty Millions." f 

A great proportion, he wrote, of those who triumphed in 
your election, and all who desire the unqualified suppression 
of the rebellion, are sorely disappointed and deeply pained 
by the policy you seem to be pursuing with regard to the 
slaves of the rebels. I wish, therefore, to set out succinctly 
and clearly what we require, what we think we have a right 
to expect, and of what we complain. We require that you 
execute the laws. We think you are strangely and disas- 
trously remiss in the discharge of your official duty, with 
regard to the emancipation provisions of the Confiscation 
Act. We think you are unduly influenced by councils, rep- 
resentatives, menaces of certain fossil politicians from the 
Border Slave States. We think timid counsels in the present 
crisis likely to be perilous and disastrous. A government so 
wickedly assailed by rebellion cannot afford to temporize 
with traitors. We complain that the Union cause has suf- 
fered from mistaken deference to rebel slavery. Had you 
in your inaugural address given notice that, were the re- 
bellion persisted in and your efforts to save the Union met 
ftvith force, you would recognize no loyal person as right- 
fully held in slavery by a traitor, we believe the rebellion 
would have received a stunning, if not a fatal, blow. We 
complain that the Confiscation Act is disregarded by your 
generals, and no word of rebuke from you has reached the 
public ears. 

* Six Months at the White House, F. B. Carpenter, p. 22. 
f New York Tribune, August 20, 1862. 


"I would save the Union/' was Lincoln's reply. "I would 
save It in the shortest way, under the Constitution. If 
there be any who would not save the Union unless they 
could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with 
them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless 
they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree 
with them. My paramount object in the struggle is to save 
the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. 
If I could save the Union without the freeing any slaves, I 
would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves 
I would do it. And if I could save it by freeing some and 
leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about 
slavery and the colored race I do because I believe it helps 
to save this Union. And what I forbear, I forbear, because 
I do not believe it would help to save this Union." * 

We have no doubt, wrote Henry Ward Beecher, that Mr. 
Lincoln means well, and tasks himself to do well for the 
country. But he is an overmatched man. He cannot carry 
the Government in its great emergency. We are being 
worsted on every side by an inferior foe. How comes that ? 
Blame him? Does any man believe Mr. Lincoln less than 
honest? But affairs are too mighty for him. He wishes, 
he almost resolves, he turns back. He inaugurates a policy. 
Like snow it melts in handling. His advisers clash. His 
generals quarrel. He is half crazed with persuasion on 
this side and counter-persuasion on that. One exhorts ; the 
other warns. He is threatened by Radicals, and threatened 
by Conservatives. What shall he do ? So he does nothing. 
Every prudent man foresees the utter exhaustion of the 
country if we have one more year such as the last, yet we 
have the same Cabinet, the same floating expedients, the 
same stationary generals. It is notorious that the generals 
in charge of the military affairs of the army are pro-slavery 
in their beliefs and sympathies, f 

Early in September a meeting of Christians of all de- 
nominations was held in Chicago, a memorial adopted and 
a committee sent to Washington to deliver it to Lincoln. 

* Lincoln to Greeley, August 22, 1862. 

f New York Independent, September 11, 1862. 



Tlie memorial urged national emancipation. They came, 
they said, to discharge their solemn obligations as Christians, 
but with no desire to dictate to their Chief Magistrate who 
had his own responsibilities to God, the country and the 
world. Recent disasters might make the time seem in- 
auspicious. But they believed these disasters to be tokens 
of Divine displeasure. 

Speaking "in an earnest and often solemn manner," 
Lincoln said the subject of the memorial was one on which 
he had thought much for weeks, for months past. He was 
approached by men of the most opposite opinions, by re- 
ligious men who were equally certain that they represented 
the Divine will. "I am sure that one or the other class is 
mistaken in that belief, and perhaps in some respects both. 
I hope it will not be irreverent for me to say that, if it is 
probable that God would reveal His will to others on a point 
so connected with my duty, it might be supposed He would 
reveal it directly to me. What good would a proclama- 
tion of emancipation from me do, especially as we are now 
situated? I do not want to issue a document which the 
whole world will see must necessarily be inoperative like 
the Pope's Bull against the comet. Would my word free the 
slaves when I cannot even enforce the Constitution in the 
rebel States? It would be a serious matter if, in conse- 
quence of such a proclamation as you desire they should go 
over to the rebels." * 

Four days after this interview Antietam was fought, and 
as soon as Lincoln was sure Lee had been driven out of 
Maryland, the long-deferred proclamation was brought forth 
and read to the Cabinet f "I have got you together/ 7 he 
said, "to hear what I have written down. I do not invite 
your advice about the main matter; for that I have deter- 
mined for myself." He was fulfilling a promise made to 
God and himself. He then read the document. It promised 
that hereafter, as heretofore, the war should be prosecuted 
for the restoration of the Union; that he would again ask 

*New York Herald, September 26, 1862. The interview was on 
September 13, 1862. 
t September 22, 1862. 



Congress to offer pecuniary aid to any loyal slave State that 
.should adopt gradual or Immediate abolition ; that the effort 
to colonize the freed negroes on this continent or elsewhere 
would Toe continued, and that "on the first day of January, 
1863, all persons held as slaves within any State or desig- 
nated part of a State, the people whereof shall then "be in 
rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thence- 
forward and forever free/' and that on the first of January, 
by another proclamation, he would designate the States and 
parts of States the people whereof were in rebellion. The 
Cabinet approved and on September twenty-third the procla- 
mation was made public. 

Neither party was entirely satisfied. Conservative leaders 
held he had gone over to the Eadicals, that the proclamation 
would amount to nothing, that it was not worth the paper 
on which it was written. Greeley did indeed write at the 
foot of a summary of the proclamation "Gtod Bless Abraham 
Lincoln. 77 But Garrison in the Liberator was "not so jubi- 
lant over it as many others." It was a step in the right 
direction, an act of uncommon historical importance; but 
not all the exigency required. It called for the emancipation 
of three-fourths of the slave population as fast as they 
became accessible. It forbade the return of fugitive slaves. 
3ut it was objectionable because it returned to "bloody 
Stripes, horrible torture and lifelong slavery any hunted 
bondsman on the mere oath of the villain claiming him, 
that he is loyal }? ; because it proposed to mate a new offer 
to the slave States to sell their slave system at a bargain; 
and because of its mean, absurd, proscriptive device to ex- 
patriate the colored people from this, their native land. 
Lincoln, said another journal, has often resisted the Badieals 
of his party, but his resistance seems to be giving way. The 
abolitionists have pressed him into their service, not entirely, 
but virtually. Those who desire the Constitution as it is, 
and the Union as it was, can expect little aid from President 

The President's unconstitutional proclamation provokes 

* Louisville Democrat, September 24, 1862. 


the question, among business men ; when is this -war to end 
and now is it to end ? The proclamation provides for the de- 
struction of slave labor, and the deportation of slaves to 
some foreign country. Commercial men see in this the 
destruction of their ships and shipping; of JSTorthern cotton 
and tobacco manufactories ; the profits of the interchange of 
JSTorthern manufactures for Southern negro labor. What 
interest then has commerce in prosecuting a war on such 
destructive and revolutionary principles? If the Southern 
States are to be black, negro States, ia a Union with such 
States worth fighting for on commercial principles ? Which 
is more profitable for us, a Hayti, or a Louisiana? * 

It is useless to discuss it. It is proclaimed and cannot 
be recalled. Of course it is not law for we have not reached 
a point where the President makes laws by proclamation.! 
It converts every inhabitant of the South into a zealot whose 
all is embarked in the success of the rebellion. The idea 
that they will succumb to threats, will feel terror or mis- 
givings, or anything but increased indignation at such a 
proclamation shows little knowledge of human nature or of 
the temper of the Southern mind. $ 

Lincoln was sorely disappointed. "It is six days old/ 7 
he wrote Vice-President Hamlin, "and while commendation 
in the newspapers and by distinguished individuals is all 
that a vain man could wish, the stocks have declined and 
troops come forward more slowly than ever." This, "looked 
soberly in the face, is not very satisfactory. ... The North 
responds to the proclamation sufficiently in breath; but 
breath alone kills no rebels." To a party which serenaded 
him on the evening of the day on which the proclamation 
was issued he said: "It is now for the country and the 
world to pass judgment and, maybe, take action upon it." H 
Within a few weeks his political opponents were loudly de- 

*New York Express. 

f New York Journal of Commerce. 

i ISTew York World. _ .. 

To Hamlin, September 28, 1862. Lincoln's Complete Works, vol. n, 

p. 242. 

|| Ibid., p. 240. 


claring Ms countrymen had passed judgment and condemned 
not only the proclamation but many other acts of his admin- 
istration. Signs of the coming reaction had not been want- 
ing. In September a Republican Governor was elected in 
Maine; but his majority was not much more than half that 
rolled up by his party at the previous election. In October 
members of Congress were chosen in Pennsylvania, Ohio, 
Indiana, all of which had been carried by Lincoln in 1860. 
They now turned against his party and gave a majority of 
their Congressmen to the Conservatives. Suspension of 
the writ of habeas corpus, summary arrests and arbitrary 
imprisonment without trial, the program of universal eman- 
cipation, the abolitionizing of the Republican Party and 
the breakdown of the financial system were assigned as the 
causes. The people had declared for a vigorous prosecu- 
tion of the war ; not for the negro, but for the Union. But 
the strength of the reaction, of the political revolution as it 
was called, was not apparent until the fourth of November 
when elections were held from Massachusetts to Kansas, and 
great gains made by the Democrats. Indeed, it seemed as 
if control of the next House of Representatives would pass 
into their hands. From New York to Illinois, the people, it 
was said, have spoken with a voice which cannot be mis- 
understood. It is the same voice which a year ago so em- 
phatically endorsed the party of the Administration. That 
party is now rebuked and repudiated while the original wise 
and patriotic policy of Lincoln is approved. The people 
call on him to hold to that policy, demand that the war shall 
be prosecuted for the restoration of the Union, demand 
that the faction seeking to turn it into a war for the bloody 
extermination of slavery shall, by him, be henceforth re- 
jected and turned adrift.* What means this singular re- 
vulsion in political sentiment in all the Middle States ? Are 
Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and New Tork weary of the 
war? Are they willing to say, "Wayward sisters, go in 
peace" ? Not at all, not at all. But they do say, in em- 
phatic terms, they are dissatisfied with the conduct of the 

*]VJew York Herald, November 6, 1862. 



war. Minor causes there are. Agents of secession have 
used every means to pervert public opinion; men have been 
frightened by threats of a draft; the withdrawal of hun- 
dreds of thousands of soldiers has produced local changes. 
But the effect of all these is as nothing in comparison with 
that produced by the depression, amounting almost to de- 
spair, caused by the inactive policy of the Government. The 
people after their gigantic preparations and sacrifices have 
looted for an adequate return, and looked in vain. They 
have seen armies unused in the field perish in pestilential 
swamps. They have seen their money wasted in long winter 
encampments, or frittered away on fruitless expeditions 
along the coast. They have seen a huge debt roll up, yet no 
prospect of greater military results.* Never before has a 
great and patriotic party been doomed to bear up under such 
a combination of adverse influences, said the Tribune, when 
accounting for the great defeat in New York It was f orceH 
to meet at the polls every partisan of slavery, every sym- 
pathizer with rebellion, every coward who feared the draft j 
the depressing effects of the October elections ; the absence 
at the front of a hundred thousand of our best, three-fourths 
of them ardent Eepublicans; great dissatisfaction with the 
slow progress, or no progress, of the armies; and a wide- 
spread feeling that through the incapacity, inefficiency, in- 
sincerity of our military leaders, the blood and treasure of 
loyal millions are being sacrificed in vaixuf The three points 
on which the opposition laid stress were the slow progress 
of the war, arrests arbitrarily made and the emancipation 

On the day after the elections Lord Lyons on his way 
from London to Washington landed at New York City and 
was at once interviewed by several leaders of the Democratic 
Party. He found them, he wrote Lord Eussell, exulting over 
the coming success of their party in New York, convinced 
that personal liberty and freedom of speech had been se- 
cured for their State, that the Government must desist 

*JSTew York Evening Post, quoted by the Tribune, November 6, 

t New York Tribune, November 6, 1862. 


from using the extraordinary illegal and unconstitutional 
powers it had assumed, and that, after the first of January 
when Seymour became Governor, suspension of the writ of 
habeas corpus would no longer be maintained. They called 
loudly for a more vigorous prosecution of the war; re- 
proached the Government with slackness and want of mili- 
tary success; repudiated the idea of meddling with slavery 
and held that the object of the war should be to place the 
ISTorth in position to demand an armistice with honor and 
effect. After the armistice should come a convention to 
amend the Constitution, make slave property safe and restore 
the Union. But the subject uppermost in their minds when 
conversing with Lord Lyons was foreign mediation. They 
were afraid it might come too soon, for come, they were 
sure, it must. The present moment they thought peculiarly 
unfavorable for such a proposal from abroad. "All hope of 
the reconstruction of the Union appears to be fading away, 
even from the minds of those who ardently desire it." The 
obvious interest of Great Britain as well as of all Europe 
was that peace should be restored as soon as possible. The 
only question to be considered by Her Majesty's Government 
was whether separation or reunion was the more likely to 
bring peace." 55 * 

In the Confederate Congress a member moved a reso- 
lution declaring that Lincoln's proclamation was directed 
against the citizens of the Confederate States, was a gross 
violation of the usages of civilized warfare, an outrage on 
the rights of private property, an invitation to a servile war 
and should be met by such retaliation as President Davis 
thought would force a recall. Another memHer wished for 
a law providing that on the first attempt to execute the 
provisions of the proclamation the black flag should be 
hoisted and a war of extermination proclaimed against all 
invaders of Southern soil. Another believed if the black 
flag had been raised in 1861 after Manassas the war would 
have ended very quickly, f Beauregard, when he heard of 

* Lyons to Russell, November 17, 1862. McPherson's History of tlie 
Rebellion, pp, 247, 248. 
f September 29, 1862. 


this, telegraphed to a member of tlie Confederate Congress 
that it was high time to proclaim the Hack flag and that 
he hoped all abolition prisoners taken after the first of 
January, 1863, would be garroted.* Governor Vance told 
the legislature of North Carolina that "our abolition foes 
have shown a determination to reenact the horrors of San 
Domingo and let loose the hellish passions of servile insur- 
rection to revel in the desolation of our homes." f Governor 
Brown of Georgia asked for the return of powder loaned the 
Confederate Government. He feared trouble with the slaves 
during the holidays and might need the powder. $ Judge 
Campbell wrote: "Our enemy is seeking an ally among those 
of our own household and to add a servile insurrection to 
the horrors of a civil war." A Eichmond newspaper re- 
called the horrors of Nat. Turner's insurrection in 1831 
and said this is the kind of work Lincoln desires. Butler, 
by common consent, is called the Beast; but, bad as he is, 
he is a saint compared with his Master. What shall we call 
him? Coward, assassin, savage, murderer of women and 
babies ? Or shall we consider them all as embodied in the 
word fiend, and call him Lincoln, The Fiend ? ]| 

Mr. Lincoln by this proclamation makes himself a sort 
of moral American Pope. He claims to sell indulgences to 
his own votaries and he offers them with full hands to all 
who will fall down and worship him. It is his to bind and 
his to loose. "What will the South think of this ? The South 
will answer with a hiss of scorn. What will the ISTorth think 
of it ? It would not answer the purposes of her great com- 
mercial centers to have the South made a howling wilder- 
ness. They want the handling of the millions produced by 
the labor of the black man. Pennsylvania wants to sell her 
manufactories in the South. New York would be again the 
hanker, broker, merchant of the South. This is what the 
Union means to them. They would rather have a live inde- 

* Official Beeords, Series 2, vol. iv, p. 910, October 13, 1862. 

flbid., Series 4, vol. ii, p. 190, November 17, 1862. 

$ Ibid., Series 4, vol. ii, p. 208. 

Ibid., Series 1, vol. xvi, Part 2, p. 980, October 27, 1862. 

IJI Richmond Enquirer, October 1, 1862. 


pendent South, than a dead dependency where nothing could 
be earned.* 

Two weeks had now passed away since Antietam; yet 
McOlellan was still in Maryland. Failure promptly to pur- 
sue Lee, to fight him again if necessary, to seek by all means 
possible to destroy his army, had greatly disappointed Lin- 
coln. The commander of the Army of the Potomac seemed 
to be suffering from what the President called "the slows." 
Day followed day, but no movement was made. Losing 
patience Lincoln visited the army, spent three days with 
McClellan, went over the battlefields of South Mountain 
and Antietam, and on his return to Washington bade him, 
through Halleck, cross the river, fight the enemy, or drive 
him southward. If McOlellan crossed the Potomac between 
the enemy and Washington, covering the city by his line of 
operations, thirty thousand men could be sent him; if he 
went up the Shenandoah, but twelve or fifteen thousand. 
Lincoln favored the line between Washington and the enemy, 
but did not order it to be taken, f ISTo movement followed. 
The Quartermaster's Department, or the Commissary De- 
partment, had not performed its duty. The army needed 
shoes and clothes. The river was so low that it was not 
safe to withdraw the army lest raids into Pennsylvania 
followed its departure. Indeed, one day in October, Stuart, 
with a force of cavalry, crossed the Potomac and, avoiding 
Hagerstown, rode on to Mercersburg, demanded and received 
the surrender of Chambersburg, destroyed the machine shop, 
station and rolling stock of the railroad, seized five hundred 
horses and government uniforms, all the shoes and clothing 
in the shops, paying for them in Confederate money, and 
bivouacked in the streets. On the following day the enemy 
passed down the valley of the Monocacy and crossed the 
Potomac near Poolesville. Stuart had ridden entirely 
around the Army of the Potomac. Then the President 
wrote to McClellan urging him to act. "Are you not/ ? he 
asked, "overcautious when you assume that you cannot do 
what the enemy is constantly doing ? Change positions with 

* London Times, October 7, 1862. 

f October 6, 1862. Official Records, Series 1, vol. xbc s Part 1, p. 10. 


Lee and think you not he would break your communications 
with Richmond in twenty-four hours? Why cannot you 
reach Eichmond before him, unless you admit that he is 
more than your equal on a march ? His route is the arc of 
a circle; yours the chord. Should he move towards Rich- 
mond why not press him closely, fight him if a favorable 
opportunity presents and at least try to beat him to Eich- 
mond on the inside track? If we cannot beat the enemy 
where he now is, we never can, he again being within the 
intrenchments of Richmond." * But IfTcClellan would not 
move and five weeks after the battle of Antietam the army 
was still in camp. "The country groans," Welles wrote in 
his diary, "but nothing is done." f At last the crossing 
began. $ Lee fell back, and early in ISTovember McOlellan 
occupied the old camp ground of Pope's Army of Virginia 
before the retreat, Warrenton, Waterloo, Gainesville, Thor- 
oughfare G-ap, Manassas Junction, Warrenton Junction. 
Headquarters were near Salem and there, one evening, a 
messenger from the War Department delivered to McClellan 
an order removing him from command and bestowing it on 
Burnside. Eor such Burnside was utterly unfit, knew 
he w as unfit and did not wish it. But the post was not 
tendered. He was ordered to assume it and reluctantly did 
so. || 3?or political reasons Lincoln had again yielded to the 

By the end of November Burnside on his way to Eich- 
mond reached the bluffs bordering the north bank of the 
Eappahannock Eiver. Across it lay the city of Fredericks- 
burg, and a range of hills on the crests and slopes of which 
Lee gathered his army while Burnside waited a week and 
more for pontoons with which to make the crossing. They 
came in the course of time and the work of laying them 
began, but was stopped by sharpshooters in the cellars of 
the houses along the river front and behind brick walls. 

*To McClellan, October 13, 1862. Official Records, Series 1, vol. 
xix, Part 1, p. 13. 

f Welles' Diary, vol. i, p. 176. 
$ October 26, 1862. 
November 7, 1862. 
|| November 9, 1862. 


Burnside ordered the city shelled. The guns on top of the 
high bluffs opposite the city could not be depressed enough 
to reach the sharpshooters. They merely set fire to some 
houses. Three regiments, which volunteered, were sent over 
in boats, drove off the enemy and took one hundred prisoners. 
Then the bridge laying was finished and one division went 
into Fredericksburg and another crossed some two miles 
further down. The rest of the army went over on the 
twelfth. Burnside had organized it in three grand divisions 
under Franklin, Sumner and Hooker. Franklin was along 
the river bank at the left of the line; Sumner came next, 
Hooker was on the right at Fredericksburg. The battle 
opened on the thirteenth. Frankliix was to take the ridge 
in his front. The attempt was made. Meade's division 
gained the crest, was poorly supported and driven down. 
When afternoon came Franklin's men were still on the plains 
at the base of the ridge. Behind Fredericksburg, a mile 
away, the ridge was known as Marye's Heights. Between 
the city and the Heights was a wide ditch used to carry 
off waste water from a canal. A road which led out from 
the city skirted the base of the Heights passing through a 
cut the sides of which were protected by stone walls. That 
towards the city was breast high. This sunken road, or cut, 
was crowded with Confederates. Burnside ordered Marye's 
Heights to be carried by storm. French's division in column 
formation started to make the assault, crossed the bridge over 
the ditch, deployed behind its bank and charged the enemy 
in the sunken road, while the rebel guns on the top of the 
Heights swept every foot of the way. So dreadful was the 
fire from behind the wall that the division got no nearer 
to it than sixty yards. Hancock's division then made a 
second attempt and when within thirty yards was driven 
back. A third attempt served but to add to the number 
of killed and wounded men. 

Untaught by the awful slaughter of his men Burnside, 
that afternoon, ordered Franklin to make a general advance. 
Most happily it was not made. He also bade Hooker carry 
Marye's Heights. The rebels by that time were so heavily 
xeenforced that they stood four and even six ranks deep 


behind the wall. Hooker met -with slaughter and defeat 
Of five thousand men who went with him more than two 
thousand were killed or wounded. 

It was dusk of a short December day when the battle 
ended and the living went back to Fredericksburg. Sixty- 
three hundred Union soldiers lay dead or wounded at the 
base of Marye's Heights.* 

Burnside, we are told, was beside himself with grief. "Oh, 
those men, those men over there. I am thinking of them 
all the time." He thought seriously of leading in person still 
another attack on the rebels in the sunken road. His officers 
finally dissuaded him and during a heavy storm of wind and 
rain on the night of December fifteenth the army withdrew 
across the river. 

Grief because of the useless slaughter of so many thou- 
sands of brave men, gloom and despondency over renewed 
defeat, wrath because of what seemed endless mismanage- 
ment of military affairs, spread over the Forth. Some 
victims were needed as atonement and were quickly found 
by the opposition press. It was Lincoln, Stanton, Halleck 
who "sent to death thousands on thousands of our brothers 
and friends." It was the strategists Lincoln and Halleck 
"who sent thousands of men from time into eternity by 
tumbling them over the Eappahannock into the pit of Fred- 
ericksburg Valley." Even supporters of Lincoln admonished 
him that the country was in danger, not because of what 
the enemy might do, but because of the total loss of con- 
fidence of loyal people in the ability of the Administration 
to carry on the war successfully. The public mind, he was 
told, was excited to a degree of despondency and indignation 
so appalling that Mr. Lincoln could not safely disregard it. 
Able men must take the place of the bungling fanatics who 
distracted the councils of the Cabinet. 

The Senate instructed its Committee on the Conduct of 
the War to find out who was responsible for the assaults 
on the enemy's works, and who for the delay in furnishing 
the pontoons. In Sew York citizens "in favor of correctly 

*The total loss, killed, wounded and missing, on the Union side 
was 12,653; on the Confederate 5,309, 


Informing the Administration in regard to the people's sense 
of their misconduct of the war' 3 were requested to meet at 
Cooper Institute.* But the meeting was postponed until 
the Senate committee had reported, f Eoused by the public 
indignation the Eepublican Senators twice met in caucus, 
found the cause of the many military failures in bad ad- 
visers of the President and the evil influence of Seward, and 
appointed a committee of nine to tell Lincoln exactly what 
they thought. The first intimation he received of the com- 
ing storm was brought by Senator King of IsTew York, who 
called one evening about six o'clock and delivered Seward's 
resignation. It then appeared that at the first caucus the 
Senators could come to no agreement on a resolution re- 
questing the President to dispense with the services of the 
Secretary of State; that at a second caucus all but one agreed 
to a resolution containing no names but asking in general 
terms for a remodeling of the Cabinet; that King, an old 
colleague and old friend of Seward's, promptly informed 
him of this and that the Secretary instantly wrote his resig- 
nation and sent it by King to Lincoln. On the following 
day, at seven o'clock in the evening, the committee of nine 
came to the White House and delivered the resolution. They 
charged Seward with indifference, want of sympathy with 
the country in its great struggle and too great ascendency 
over, and control of, the President and measures of admin- 

Lincoln told them their uncalled-for action shocked and 
grieved him, spoke warmly of his Cabinet, said it must not 
be broken up. 

At a special meeting of the Cabinet on the following 
morning the President reported what had happened and 
proposed that the Secretaries meet the committee face to 
face. Chase objected; but finally all agreed and the time 
was fixed for half past seven that evening and the committee 
requested to attend. Lincoln then read the resolution and 
defended his Cabinet. Chase, the leader of the Radicals, 
approved of all the President said. Q-rimes, Sumner, Tram- 

* New York Herald, December 19, 1862, 
t Ibid,, December 20, 1862, 


bull attacked Seward. After the discussion had gone on 
for several hours Lincoln requested each Senator to say if 
he still thought Seward should go. G-rimes, Sumner, Trum- 
bull, Pomeroy said yes. Oollamer declined to answer. 
Pessenden did the same.* He objected to discuss Seward 
in the presence of his colleagues. Thereupon near midnight 
the Secretaries left. 

Lincoln was greatly distressed and the next morning sent 
for Chase, the Radical member of his Cabinet, and said: 
"This matter is giving me great trouble." Chase answered 
that he, too, was "painfully affected by the meeting last 
evening/' and had prepared his resignation. "Let me have 
it" said the President, "reaching his long arm and fingers 
towards Chase, who held on seemingly reluctant to part 
with the letter. . . ." f Taking and reading it hastily Lin- 
coln said : "This cuts the G-ordian knot. ... I can dispose of 
the subject now without difficulty; I see my way clear/' $ 
If he must part with Seward, the Conservative, he must also 
part with Chase the Radical This, he knew, the Radical 
Senators did not wish. ITor did he. The resignations were 
not accepted; both Secretaries were requested to return to 
their Departments and did so. 

The year was now fast drawing to a close. Mindful of his 
promise to designate the States and parts of States in which 
on January first all slaves should be declared free, Lincoln 
wrote his proclamation and at a Cabinet meeting, December 
twenty-ninth, gave a copy to each member present. Each 
was requested to take it home, read it, and make such criti- 
cism as he saw fit. On the thirty-first, at another Cabinet 
meeting, the sheets were returned. Taking them to his 
office the President spent the day in bringing the proclama- 
tion to its final form. Those, wrote a "Washington corre- 
spondent, who lay down the Tribune to-morrow disappointed 
because they do not find in it the -New Tear's Proclamation 
of Freedom, may be assured of reading it before sunset. 
The matter was considered by the Cabinet this morning. 

* Welles' Diary, vol. i, pp. 194-198. 
f Ibid., p. 201. 
p. 201. 


After adjournment the President denied himself to all 
callers and set about composing it.* 

ISTew Tear's Day from eleven in the morning until well 
into the afternoon the President was in the East Room 
shaking hands with hundreds of visitors. It was late in 
the afternoon, therefore, when Seward and his son "brought 
the engrossed copy for signature. Sitting at the desk with 
the "broad sheet spread out "before him, Lincoln dipped his 
pen in the ink and holding it in his hands for a few moments 
said : "I never in my life felt more certain that I was doing 
right than I do in signing this paper. But I have been 
receiving calls and shaking hands since eleven o'clock this 
morning until my arm is still and numb. 3STow this signature 
will be closely examined, and if they find my hand trembled 
they will say fbe had some compunctions.' But, anyway, it 
is going to be done." He then, with great care, signed his 

Press copies had undoubtedly been already sent out, for 
the proclamation appeared that afternoon in the Washington 
Evening Star and was read at night in Tremont Temple, 
Boston, before a meeting of the Union Progressive Asso- 
ciation composed of negroes, f 

Redeeming the promise made in September, a promise 
that he would on the first of January, 1863, designate the 
States and parts of States the inhabitants of which were in 
armed rebellion against the United States, Lincoln now 
proceeded so to do and declared all persons held as slaves 
therein to be "then and thenceforth forever free." The 
States and parts of States were, North Carolina, South 
Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, 
all of Virginia save the eight and forty counties of West 
Virginia, the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth and seven 
counties $ nearby, and all of Louisiana save New Orleans 
and thirteen parishes then under the Union flag. The Ex- 
ecutive Government of the United States, and all military 

* New York Tribune, January 1, 1863. 
t New York Herald, January 3, 1863. 

$ Berkeley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess 
Anne, Norfolk. 


and naval authorities lie promised would recognize and 
maintain the freedom of such persons and enjoined them, 
to labor faithfully for reasonable wages. They would be 
received into the army to garrison forts, stations and other 
places, and into the navy to man vessels in all sorts of 

One hundred guns greeted its publication in some of the 
large cities ; there was a jubilee by negroes and their friends 
at New York ; but the country received it coldly, with doubt, 
and open denunciation. If it answers the purpose of the 
Executive, the lukewarm would say, and aids in the resto- 
ration of the Union, all loyal men surely will rejoice. We 
care little about the means necessary for that end. We are 
as willing to sacrifice slavery as we certainly are willing to 
sacrifice anti-slavery, to preserve the Union. If this procla- 
mation is acted on in the spirit in which it is framed, it will 
undoubtedly do mischief to the slave interests ; but how far 
it will help the efforts to put down the rebellion is yet to be 
tested by experience.^ While the President leaves slavery 
untouched where his decree can be enforced, he emancipates 
slaves where his decree cannot be enforced. Friends of 
human rights will be at a loss to understand this discrimina- 
tion. As a war measure it is unnecessary, unwise, ill-timed, 
impracticable, outside the Constitution and full of mischief.f 
Governor Parker of New Jersey in his message to the legis- 
lature denounced arbitrary arrests, suspension of the writ 
of habeas corpus and emancipation as among the illegal acts 
committed under the new principle of "the war power >T ; 
and thought the scheme of emancipation impracticable and 
likely to prolong the war. Our energies should be used to 
save the Union, leaving emancipation to the legislatures of 
the States. $ A Copperhead journal remarked, "we publish 
in another column the emancipation proclamation issued 
January first, 1863, by the tyrant and usurper, Lincoln.' 7 

* Philadelphia Public Ledger, January 2, 1863. 
f New York Herald, January 3, 1863. 
$ Philadelphia Public Ledger, January 21, 1863. 
New York Tribune, January 21, 1863. The Ashland Journal, 


A Democratic mass meeting at Springfield resolved that it 
was as unwarranted in military as in civil law; was a gi- 
gantic usurpation converting the war, properly begun for 
the vindication of the authority of the Constitution into 
a crusade for the sudden, violent liberation of three millions 
of negro slaves. Such a result would overthrow the Federal 
Union and revolutionize the social organization of the South- 
ern States.* 

A Southern journal described it as a Pope's Bull against 
the comet, not worth the paper on which it was written so 
far as "the Rebellion" was concerned.f Another found 
it hard to decide whether wickedness or folly predominated. 
It was the most startling political crime ? the most stupid 
political blunder in American history and would meet with 
universal condemnation and contempt in Europe. $ The 
South had given her answer at Fredericksburg and Mur- 
f reesboro. She need not answer his proclamation by words. 

By the proclamation of September Lincoln pledged him- 
self to again appeal to Congress to offer to the loyal slave 
States some practical plan of emancipation, with compen- 
sation. True to his promise he therefore, in the annual 
message, presented what he considered a practical plan 
and argued long and earnestly for its adoption. Neither 
Congress nor the press gave his appeal any heed. The day 
for emancipation with compensation had gone. An attempt 
was, indeed, made to compensate Missouri if she would 
abolish slavery : but it came to naught. The autumn election 
in that State had been carried by Union men. The legis- 
lature was soon to meet and steps, it was well known, would 
be taken to make Missouri free. Bills providing aid for her, 
in the form of bonds, were therefore introduced in both 
Houses of Congress. That in the House was the first to pass 
and promised Missouri ten million dollars in bonds if she 
abolished slavery. || The Senate sent back a substitute which 
offered her twenty millions, if, within eighteen months after 

*New York Tribune, January 10, 1863. 

t Richmond Enquirer, January 8, 1863. 

$ Richmond Examiner, January 7, 1863. 

Richmond Dispatch, January 6, 1863. 

|| Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 3rd Session, Part 1, pp. 207-208. 



the passage of the Congressional Act, she provided for eman- 
cipation "before the fourth of July, 1865, and but ten millions 
if she postponed it until the fourth of July, 1876.* The 
House Committee on Emancipation reported a compromise 
offering Missouri fifteen millions if, by a valid and con- 
stitutional act, she set free all slaves within her bounds on 
or before the fourth of July, 1865. In the last days of the 
session it "was killed by a filibuster, f 

To the people in the Worth the prospect at the end of 
1862 was indeed gloomy, for they were then in the darkest 
period of the war. Everything had gone wrong. The high 
hopes raised in the opening of the year by the capture of 
Forts Henry and Donelson and the victories along the coast 
had been dashed by the defeat of MeClellan in the Peninsula, 
by the defeat of Pope at Bull Run, by Lee's invasion of the 
North, by his escape from MeClellan, by failure to take 
Vicksburg and open the Mississippi and by the defeat and 
slaughter of Burnside ? s army on the heights behind Fred- 
ericksburg. Business was still depressed. The currency 
was still in disorder. The national debt had grown in twelve 
months from less than ninety-one millions to more than five 
hundred millions of dollars ; the cost of the war was two and 
a half millions each day, and, despite heavy taxation, duties, 
sale of bonds and the inflation of the currency, the pay of 
the troops was five months in arrear. Nearly all had been 
paid to the end of June and some to the end of August. But 
Rosecrans reported that many regiments in his army had 
received no money for six months past, that men were driven 
to desert in order to care for their families and that officers 
were without the means of subsistence. Sixty million dol- 
lars, Chase said, were needed to discharge the indebtedness 
to the army and navy. To enable him to do so Congress 
authorized an issue of one hundred million dollars in United 
States legal tender notes and by the end of February the 
eight hundred thousand men on the rolls were paid in full. 

No sooner had Lincoln signed the joint resolution than 
by a special message he so informed Congress. He was 

* Globe, p. 903. 

f Ibid., Part 2, p. 1294. Appendix, p. 148. 


sorry, he sald ? that it had been found necessary to make 
another, and so large, Issue of United States notes at a 
time when those already in circulation together with the 
notes of State banks had so inflated the currency as to 
raise prices beyond real values and Increase the cost of living. 
It was plain that to go on printing United States notes with- 
out putting a check on the Issue of bank notes must soon 
produce disastrous results. A uniform currency in which 
taxes, public dues, subscriptions to loans and private debts 
could be paid had become almost indispensable and such a 
currency could be supplied by- banking associations organized 
under a general act of Congress as suggested in his annual 
message. The President, in short, asked for a national 
banking law.* 

Chase, a year before, in his first annual report, strenuously 
urged the adoption of a national paper currency. The notes 
which the people of that day carried in their pockets and 
$vith which they paid the little expenses of daily life 
amounted to some two hundred and two million dollars and 
were issued by some thirteen hundred banks, not counting 
branches nor those in the South, chartered by the several 
States. Each put forth bills in denominations of from one 
to a thousand dollars, save in the West, where those above 
one hundred dollars were rarely seen. Each bill differed in 
appearance from its fellows and from those of other banks. 
Taking six as the average number of denominations in popu- 
lar use, there are, said a writer describing the bank currency 
of 1863, more than eight thousand three hundred different 
sorts of paper money in circulation. But to these must be 
added the issues of fraudulent, broken, worthless banks of 
which eight hundred and fifty-four are mentioned in the 
"Descriptive List" for January, making in all more than 
thirteen thousand varieties of notes. There were, besides, 
some six thousand kinds of counterfeits. Nowhere else in 
the world was the art carried to such an extent as in the 
United States. In Massachusetts were one hundred and 
eighty-five banks. "Thompson's Reporter" described 

* Messages and Papers of tlie Presidents, vol. vi, p. 149, January 
17, 1863. 

1863 BANK NOTES. 273 

counterfeits on one hundred and sixty-nine and Gwynne 
and Day's on one Hundred and seventy-four. There were 
three hundred and three in ]STew York State, and there were 
in circulation counterfeit, or altered, notes of all "but forty- 
five. The use of the same name, and occasionally of the same 
device, made counterfeiting easy. There were twenty-seven 
"Union Banks'' in the country and seven of them were in 
the State of ]STew York.* The shopkeeper who received 
from a customer a three or a five dollar bill must consult his 
copy of the Monitor or the Detector in order to be sure that 
the bank whose name it bore was not broken or fraudulent, 
and the particular denomination he held in his hand had not 
been counterfeited. Nor could the customer be sure that the 
pieces of paper given him in change were genuine notes until 
he had gone through the same laborious process. The value 
of State bank notes was supposed to be assured, in some 
cases, by safety funds. But in general it depended on the 
good management and honesty of the institutions which 
Issued them, and many a one could, and did, put forth notes 
>to three and four times its capital stock, and far beyond all 
possibility of redemption. I have known instances, said a 
banker, in which banks have issued eighteen or twenty times 
the amount of their capital stock, and so far as the public was 
concerned, with no other security than the good faith of the 
institution, f Bills of the banks of one State found no cir- 
culation in any other. A traveler from Boston to "Washing- 
ton must change his money several times, suffering a heavy 
discount on each exchange and sometimes a commission to 
the dealer in uncurrent bills. The whole of this circulation, 
said Chase, is a loan without interest, by the people to the 
banks. It cost them nothing save the expense of issue, of 
redemption and the interest on the gold kept for redemption, 
and it is worth while to consider whether sound policy does 
not require that the advantages of the loans be transferred 
from the banks, representing only interested stockholders, to 
the Government, representing the interest of the whole 
people. The time, he believed, had come, when Congress 

* National Intelligencer, February 7, 1863. 
f Oberholtzer, Jay Cooke, vol. i, p. 327. 


should use its power to regulate commerce and the value of 
coin, to regulate the credit currency which entered so largely 
into the transactions of commerce and in so many ways 
Affected the value of coin. He would have a national cur- 
xency circulating over all the country without discounts, and 
suggested two plans by either of which this might be ob- 
tained. The first was to withdraw, gradually, the bills of 
private corporations and in their stead use United States 
notes payable on demand in coin. The second, and the better 
plan the Secretary thought, would be a chain of national 
banks issuing bills bearing a common impression, authenti- 
cated and printed by the Government, secured by a deposit 
of United States bonds and a paper specie reserve, receivable 
by the United States for all debts except duties on imports, 
and receivable by the people in payment of all Government 
debts except interest on bonds. Such a currency, uniform in 
appearance, uniform in security, safe against depreciation, 
guaranteed by Government bonds would have the same value 
in all parts of the country.* 

IsTo final action was taken during that session. But in 
February 1863, after Lincoln in his message had asked for 
the establishment of such national banks, f after Chase had 
again urged their creation, after the President had made his 
special appeal, Congress acted and passed a bill to provide 
a national currency secured by a pledge of United States 
bonds. J Five or more persons might associate for banking 
purposes and having gathered a capital of fifty thousand 
dollars or more, and having deposited with the treasury 
United States interest-bearing bonds equal to one third of 
the paid in capital, would receive in the national currency 
ninety per cent of the par value of the bonds deposited. 
These notes were to be received by the Government in pay- 
ment of all dues save duties on imports, and were to be taken 
by the people in payment of all Government debts save inter- 
est on bonds. !Not more than three hundred millions of 
dollars could be issued and of this sum one half was to be 

* Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, 1861. 

f Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, vol. vi, p. 130. 

$ Act of February 25, 1863. 


distributed to national banks in the States and territories on 
the basis of population, and one half according to the exist- 
ing bank capital, business and resources of each State and 

G-reat opposition was made to this act. It created some- 
thing worse than the old Bank of the United States ; it gave 
the Administration great and dangerous power ; united in the 
same hand control of the purse and the sword, a union dan- 
gerous to liberty; was an act Congress ought never to have 
passed; was an attack on State banks, and if successful 
would cover the country with little banks of small capital. 
In a panic national bank bills would be sent to Washington 
for redemption; United States bonds, forced on the market) 
for redemption would be sold for what they would bring;- 
and the national credit would lie "prostrate, broken down 
in the vain effort to sustain this gigantic scheme of a national 
bank currency." Nevertheless, new associations were at once 
formed under the law, State banks reorganized and became 
national banks, and when the Comptroller of the Currency 
made his second annual report, five hundred and eighty-two- 
were doing business. 

A few days after Lincoln approved the currency bill he 
signed the nine hundred million loan bill. By it Chase was 
authorized to borrow three hundred million dollars for the 
fiscal year then current, and six hundred million dollars for 
the next fiscal year, by the sale of bonds. They were to bear 
not more than six per cent interest, were not redeemable 
until the end of ten years and fell due at the end of forty. 
Should the Secretary see fit, he might, instead of bonds, issue 
four hundred millions of treasury notes which would be legal 
tender for their face value, bear not more than six per cent 
interest, and run not more than three years. Should it be 
necessary, in order to pay the army and navy, he might issue 
one hundred and fifty millions of greenbacks, but in that 
sum must be included the one hundred millions authorized 
by the act of January. Fractional currency to the amount 
of fifty millions of dollars to replace the postage currency 
was authorized.* 

* Act of March. 3, 1863. 




WITH the arrival of Mason in London and of Slidell in 
Paris, the departure of Mann for Brussels and of Host for 
Madrid,* the struggle of the Confederacy for recognition "by 
foreign powers began in earnest. The hopelessness of suc- 
cess was well described by Yancey on his return home. 
Visited by admiring friends at his hotel in ]N"ew Orleans, and 
called on for a speech he said: You have no friends in 
Europe, and this is equally true of the ISTorth, whose people, 
government and press, and the writings of whose public men 
are believed to be utterly mendacious. The sentiment of 
Europe is anti-slavery, and that portion of public opinion 
which forms, and is represented by, the Government of Great 
Britain, is abolition. They will never recognize our inde- 
pendence until our conquering sword hangs dripping over 
the prostrate heads of the ISTorth. Their opinion of the 
character of the people of the South and the cause in which 
we are engaged is derived from Northern sources. They 
never see the journals and periodicals of the South. They 
believe we are a brave and determined people. But they 
would like to see the two confederacies crippled by the war, 
and so will give aid to neither. It is an error to say, "Cotton 
is King." It is not. It is a great and influential factor in 
commerce, but not its dictator. The nations of Europe will 
never raise the blockade until it suits their interests, f 

"When Mason took up his duties in February, the Ministry, 
he said, "seemed to hang fire," both as to blockade and to 
recognition. Nevertheless, those best informed were sure 
that soon after Parliament met the question of recognition 

* Pickett Papers, August 24, 1861. 
t The Index, May 1, 1862. 


would come before tlie House of Commons and be pressed to 
a vote. ITay, it might come in the form of an amendment 
to the Address.* But the speech from the throne touched 
neither on the blockade, nor on recognition. Members 
friendly to the Confederacy assured him this was because 
the Ministry was opposed to either step just then, and was 
afraid of any further broils with the United States. That 
no amendments were offered was because all parties were 
loath to go into controversies over the Address on account of 
the recent death of the Prince and the real sorrow of the 
Queen; but all would go well. The blockade, which could 
be carried in favor of the South more easily than recognition, 
would be brought up first, and all efforts directed to its 
repudiation. When this was accomplished, recognition 
would quickly follow.f 

February tenth Mason had his first interview with Rus- 
sell, read his instructions concerning recognition, blockade, 
and the cotton supply, but made no reference to the impor- 
tance of cotton to England on which so much had been said 
that the British Government had grown sensitive. Recogni- 
tion, though desirable and due the South, was not, he said, 
the matter of first importance. Knowing her strength and 
her resources the South knew that it was but a matter of 
time. What he sought to impress on his Lordship, and he 
assumed it to be the common sentiment of Europe, was, that 
separation was final, that under no circumstances would the 
Confederate States ever again come under a common govern- 
ment with the North. Lord Russell asked but a few ques- 
tions, and left on Mason the impression "that his personal 
sympathies are not with us, and his policy, inaction." J 

Both the Minister and the Commons, just at that time, 
were far more concerned with the blockade, and the question 
of breaking it, than they were with the persistent claims of 
the South for recognition. Indeed, a few days after the 
interview Lord Russell made the position the Government 
should take the subject of a note to Lord Lyons. It appeared, 

* Pickett Papers, Mason to Hunter, February 2, 1862. 

f Ibid., February 7, 1862. 

$ Mason Papers, Mason to Hunter, February 22, 1862. 


he wrote, from reports of Her Majesty's naval officers, that 
although a sufficient force was stationed off Wilmington and 
Charleston, several vessels had successfully eluded the 
blockaders. A question might, therefore, arise whether such 
a blockade was to be considered effective. Her Majesty's 
Government was of the opinion that if due notice was given, 
and ships stationed at the entrance of a port, "sufficient really 
to prevent access to it, or to create an evident danger of 
entering or leaving it, and that these ships do not voluntarily 
permit ingress or egress, the fact that various ships may 
have successfully escaped" would not, of itself, prevent the 
blockade from being an effective one under international 

Scarcely was the letter written when Mason sent Russell 
a list of more than three hundred vessels he claimed had 
entered and left blockaded ports in the Confederacy, and 
made a few explanations. In the list of arrivals at New 
Orleans were many that had come by the Mississippi River 
and involved no question of blockade running. Others might 
have been quasi-inl&nd, by which he meant through the 
estuaries and sounds along the coast. But he could not see 
why the obligations of blockade did not extend to them as 
well as to vessels coming from the open sea. The estuaries 
and sounds were accessible from the sea by inlets which, if 
not guarded, offered a means of ingress for seagoing vessels 
of light draft f 

A few days later a member of Parliament moved for re- 
turns of the number of British vessels which, during the last 
six months, had run the blockade ; for the number of British 
vessels taken or destroyed in attempts to break the blockade ; 
and for the number of British vessels that had put into Nas- 
sau, or other colonial ports, laden with goods conttaband of 
war and with supplies for the Confederacy. Unless pro- 
duced it would be impossible to discuss fully the efficiency, 
or inefficiency, of the blockade, or the action of the Govern- 
ment in carrying out the policy of neutrality to which it waa 
pledged. On the one hand it was often said that the blockade 

* Russell to Lord Lyons, February 15, 1862. 

t Pickett Papers, Mason to Bus sell, February 17, 1862. 


was not effective, and that a fleet ought to be sent to break 
it. On the other hand the distress caused in Lancashire and 
in Lyons by want of cotton seemed to show it was effective. 
Keports were current that vessels, notoriously destined for 
Southern ports, laden with articles contraband of war had 
been allowed, by the authorities, to enter Nassau to refit and 
coal. The Solicitor-General answered and said that the 
mover implied that all masters of blockade runners were 
guilty of illegal acts in violation of Her Majesty's Proclama- 
tion. Authorities at the port of Nassau, he seemed to imply, 
had made themselves subject to blame. He entirely mis- 
understood the law. The Foreign Enlistment Act, the only 
law under which the Government could interfere, did not 
in any way touch private merchant ships carrying cargoes 
contraband of war. They might go from Great Britain, or 
from any of the dominions of Her Majesty, to any port in 
a belligerent country whether closed or open. The Govern- 
ment of Great Britain and the governments of colonial pos- 
sessions had no power whatever to meddle with private per- 
sons engaged in such voyages. But the law of nations 
exposed vessels so engaged to seizure, and the cargoes they 
carried to confiscation. The motion, by consent, was with- 

Before a week passed papers relating to the blockade were 
submitted to Parliament. Letters from Consul Bunch at 
Charleston declared the blockade of that port so inefficient 
that vessels were continuously entering and leaving. Consul 
Mure, of New Orleans, reported that the blockade of the 
Mississippi was strictly enforced. Commander Hickley of 
the Gladiator considered the blockade of the Southern coast 
merely nominal. Commander Lyon of the Racer thought 
Savannah and Charleston were effectively closed, but other 
harbors on the coast were perfectly free. Captain Rose of 
the Desperate passed blockaders off the port of Galveston; 
but vessels might easily escape. Commander Hewitt re- 
ported the blockade of the coast from Cape Lookout to Cape 
Eear as wholly ineffective, f 

* House of Commons, February 20, 1862. 
t Papers submitted, February 27, 1862. 


On tlie following day Mr. Gregory, in the House of Com- 
mons, gave notice that on If arch, seventh he would call at- 
tention to the blockade and move for papers, and Earl Car- 
narvon in the House of Lords asked if any communications 
touching it had passed between Her Majesty's Government 
and any foreign governments. Lord Kussell answered, none. 

On the appointed day, Gregory made his motion, claimed 
that the blockade was ineffective and ought not to be re- 
spected, and held that the Government, by recognizing it, 
was not acting with strict neutrality, but was unfair to the 
South. In support of his claim he cited the letters from 
consuls in Southern ports and from the commanders who had 
sailed along the coast, insisted that sinking the stone fleet 
in Charleston harbor was an admission by the Federal Gov- 
ernment that its work was not effective, read from the 
London Times a statement that insurances were effected 
every day on ships and cargoes destined for ports in the 
South, that the highest premium was fifteen guineas, and 
that the vessels were of some fifteen hundred tons.* 

Forster defended the blockade and examined the list sub- 
mitted by Yancey, and that by Mason. Yancey claimed 
four hundred vessels had run the blockade. Forster showed 
the number listed by Yancey was three hundred and twenty- 
two; that one hundred and nineteen had left port before 
blockade was established, and that fifty-six were foreign ves- 
sels which sailed before the expiration of the fourteen days' 
grace allowed them. Subtracting these one hundred and 
seventy-five departures from the three hundred and twenty- 
two on the list, there remained one hundred and forty-seven. 
Subtracting twenty-five Mississippi Biver boats at New 
Orleans, one hundred and twenty-two remained. Of these 
one hundred and six were coasters, and all but three were 
engaged in what Mason called ^u^-inland voyages, creeping 
alongshore and through inland sounds and waters. Surely 
they were not to be classed with ocean-going craft that had 
to make the run from the open sea. Taking one hundred and 
three from one hundred and twenty-two left nineteen of 

* London Times, February 21, 1862. 



which fifteen were from American ports. Mason's list speci- 
fied fifty-one departures before the end of October. Of these, 
five departed before the declaration of blockade, twenty-seven 
had made gw<m-inland voyages, leaving nineteen evasions of 
which only one was by a vessel from Europe. We have 
heard, said Forster, a good deal about the sham blockade. 
Wherein are these lists any better than a sham ? * When It 
ended the motion was negatived without a division, f In the 
House of Lords a motion for papers was withdrawn. 

It was then the tenth of March, On the eleventh Mason 
wrote that news of the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson 
had greatly depressed the friends of the South. They still 
held firmly to the belief that all hope of reunion and recon- 
struction was gone; but admitted the time seemed near when 
the South would be forced to yield the Border States, Mary- 
land, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri, to the North and 
were sure that in two or three months Mr. Lincoln would 
agree to separation on these terms. Looking therefore to 
a speedy ending of the war, leaders in Parliament were not 
inclined to commit their country to either side In the strug- 


Victories of the Union forces along the seaboard, the occu- 
pation of Hatteras Inlet, Port Royal and Uoanoke Island, 
the fall of New Orleans and the tightening of the blockade 
destroyed all hope of interference to raise it, and left only 
the question of recognition. Members of Parliament were 
ready to move the question whenever it might be found 
expedient; but, in the present state of the Ministerial and 
Opposition parties it was not deemed prudent to make it an 
issue and the intended motion was delayed. Mason thought 
it unwise and unbecoming, in the face of the present attitude 

* March 6, 1862. "W. E. Forster will answer Gregory on the 
blockade on Friday and I have been getting out some facts for him. 
... If Gregory does touch Yancey's and Mason's figures Forster will 
demolish them. The flat boats that old Mason says ran the blockade 
at New Orleans number 119 and I explained to Forster what they 
are. The list was evidently made up relying on success from English 
ignorance of our geography." Koran's Diary, Library of Congress. 

t House of Commons, March 7, 1862. 

$ Mason Papers, Mason to Secretary of State, March 11, 1862. 


of the ministry, to renew the demand for recognition unless 
it was made as a right, and followed when rejected, as it 
surely would be, by a note setting forth that it was incom- 
patible with the dignity of his Government and his own 
self-respect to remain longer in London." 3 * 

As in duty bound, he sent off to Secretary Hunter a copy 
of Russell's letter on blockade the day after it was made 
public, and waited for instruct ions, f They came in time 
and bade him protest against Lord EusselFs views. Her 
Majesty's Government, he was to say, seemed to have en- 
grafted an addition on the principle of the law of blockade 
as established by the Convention of Paris in 1856, and ac- 
cepted by the Confederate States at the invitation of Her 
Majesty's Government. The words, "or to create an evident 
danger of entering or leaving it/' were objected to by Davis. 
They constituted an addition to the definition of 1856. They 
raised a doubt as to just what Lord Russell meant. Mason, 
therefore, was to request him to inform the Government of 
the Confederate States what construction Her Majesty's 
Government placed on the text, and whether a blockade was 
to be considered effective when maintained at an enemy's 
port by a force sufficient to create an evident danger of 
entering it, or leaving it and not alone when sufficient really 
to prevent access. $ 

While Mason waited for a reply, an inquiry was made in 
each House of Parliament as to the intention of Her 
Majesty's Government to offer mediation. Both Palmerston 
and Russell answered that the Government had no such in- 
tention at present. It would be of no avail. In the present 
temper of the belligerents it might be misinterpreted and 
lead to consequences not intended. Mason now made this 
the subject of another note. To maintain their independence 
was the unalterable determination of the Confederate States. 
Under no circumstances would they come under a common 
government with those forming the United States. ISTor did 
they ask for such mediation. Nevertheless he could see 

*Pickett Papers, Mason to Secretary of State, June 23, 1862. 
f Mason Papers, Mason to Hunter, February 28, 1862. 
$ Pickett Papers, Mason to Russell, July 7, 1862. 


nothing in their position which could make either offensive 
or irritating a tender of such offices by Her Majesty's Gov- 
ernment as might lead to ending a war hopelessly waged and 
attended by a wanton waste of life.* 

Eussell answered that any proposal to the United States 
to recognize the Southern Confederacy would irritate the 
North ; that any proposal to the Confederate States to return 
to the Union would irritate the South ; and that this was the 
meaning of the declaration in Parliamentf 

Adams was not sure that such a tender of good offices 
might not be made and made very soon. So sure was he that 
it would come that he wrote for explicit instructions as to 
how it should be received. "If the British Government/' 
said Seward, "shall in any way approach you, directly or 
indirectly, with propositions which assume, or contemplate, 
an appeal to the President on the subject of our internal 
affairs, whether it seem to imply a purpose to dictate, or to 
mediate, or to advise, or even to solicit or persuade, you will 
answer that you are forbidden to debate, to hear, or in any 
way receive, entertain, or transmit any communications of 
the kind." Whether the proposition came from the British 
Government alone, or from that Government in combination 
with others, his answer was to be the same. If asked what 
reception the President would give such a proposition, he 
was to say he had not been instructed, but did not suppose 
it would be entertained. Should the British Government 
alone, or in combination with any other, acknowledge the 
insurgents, he was at once to suspend his functions as Min- 
ister and notify Russell and Seward. Should the British 
Government declare war on the United States he was to 
come without delay to Washington. ^ 

Unable to persuade Eussell to admit that the blockade was 
ineffective, Mason turned to recognition. He had agreed 
with Slidell that when the demand for recognition was made 
it should be made at the same time on Erance and Great 
Britain. To Slidell, the failure of the Peninsula campaign, 

*Pickett Papers, Mason to Hussell, July 17, 1862. 

f Ibid., Kussell to Mason, July 24, 1862. 

$ Adams' Charles Francis Adams, pp. 285-286. 


the Seven. Days' battles and the retreat of McOlellan to the 
banks of the James afforded a most fitting time to make tbe 
demand^ and he now asked Mason to do so. Mason con- 
sented, Slidell delivered his letter to Ihouvenel on July 
twenty-third and the next day Mason sent his to Russell * 
and asked for an interview. 

Kussell answered that he did not think any advantage 
could arise from an interview and must decline it.f There- 
upon Mason replied that during the interview he would have 
said that if it were true that in the settled judgment of 
Europe the separation of the States was final, then failure 
to recognize the fact implied an opposite belief which must 
be an incentive to the United States to prolong the war. 
He then argued to prove that it was impossible that any hope 
remained in the United States of restoring the broken Union, 
or subjugating the South, and that failure of foreign govern- 
ments to formally recognize this, encouraged those in author- 
ity in the United States not to concede the fact at home. $ 
Eussell answered and said : you say the withdrawal of the 
Southern States from the Union was not a revolution, far 
less an insurrection or rebellion, but a termination of a 
Confederacy which for years had violated the Federal Com- 
pact. On the question of the right of withdrawal, as on the 
conduct of the United States, Her Majesty's Government 
had never presumed to form a judgment. In the face of 
the fluctuating events of the war, the alternations of victory 
and defeat, the capture of New Orleans, the advance of the 
Federals to Corinth, to Memphis, and to the banks of the 
Mississippi as far as Vicksburg, contrasted, on the other 
hand, with the failure of the attack on Charleston and the 
retreat from before Bidhmond, Her Majesty's Government 
was determined to wait. 

To obtain a place among the nations, Eussell continued, a 
State ought to have not only strength and resources for a 
time, but also afford promise of stability and permanence. 
Should the Confederate States win that place among the 

* Mason Papers, July 30, 1862. 

f Pickett Papers, Russell to Mason, July 31, 1862. 

$Ibid., Mason to Eussell, July 31, 1862. 


nations of the earth, other nations might justly acknowledge 
an independence achieved by victory and maintained by 
resistance to all attempts to overthrow it. That time has 
not arrived. Her Majesty's Government, therefore, could 
only hope that a peaceful solution of the present blood" and 
destructive war might not be distant.* 

There were three members of Her Majesty's Government, 
however, who saw no sign of a peaceful solution without 
foreign interference and were quite ready to interfere. No 
sooner did the news of the second battle of Bull Run and 
Pope's crushing defeat reach London than Palmerston wrote 
Russell and suggested intervention. Detailed accounts in 
the Observer,, of the battles of August twenty-ninth and 
thirtieth showed that the Federals "got a very complete 
smashing." Very possibly they might lose Baltimore and 
Washington. In that event would not the time have come 
"for us to consider whether in such a state of things England 
and France might not address the contending parties and 
recommend an arrangement on the basis of separation?" f 

"I agree with you," Russell replied, "that the time is 
come for offering mediation to the United States Govern- 
ment, with a view to the recognition of the independence of 
the Confederates. I agree, further, that in case of failure, 
we ought ourselves to recognize the Southern States as an 
independent State." But before taking so important a step 
there should be a Cabinet meeting on the twenty-third or 
twenty-fifth. If an agreement were reached intervention 
should first be proposed to France, and then by France and 
England to Russia and the other Powers. $ 

Palmerston thought the plan for mediation excellent It 
should of course be made to both belligerents at the same 
time. As to the time for making the offer it should not be 
later than the middle of October. Evidently a great conflict 
was taking place northwest of Washington. Were the Fed- 

*Pickett Papers, Russell to Mason, August 2, 1862. 

fLife of Lord John Russell, by Spencer Walpole, vol. ii, p. 349. 
Palmerston to Russell, September 14, 1862. 

$ Russell to Palmerston, September 17, 1862; Walpole's Life of Rus- 
sell, vol. ii, p. 349. 


erals beaten the way would "be open for mediation. Were 
the Federals to have the "best of it, "we may wait a while 
and see what may follow." * 

And now the press "began to clamor for interference. There 
is a degree of inhumanity in the attitude of European 
Powers, said Lord Derby's organ, f We stand with arms 
folded while America is turned into a desert, and her people 
break each other to pieces. What advantage will it be to us 
to stand by and see the spirit of that country broken, and a 
whole generation of young men maimed or slain in the 
cruelest of unjust wars? Let us do something, as we are 
Christian men. Call it arbitration, mediation, intervention, 
diplomatic action, recognition of the South, remonstrance 
with the Worth, friendly interference, forcible pressure, 
what you will, but let us do something to stop the carnage. 
Let us tell the Americans what we think of it and cry hold ! 

The Confederates, said another journal, have dispelled 
the doubts of those who doubted whether they could cope 
with the greater resources of the North, and whether, there- 
fore, they were justified in seeking independence. Backed 
by their superior military qualities in the field, backed by 
their superior statesmanship in council, they have clearly 
proved their title to a separate nationality, and the sooner 
that title is recognized by the North the better. 

How can England and France now justly reject the de- 
mand for recognition made by the South? asked the Liver- 
pool Courier. How can we refuse to recognize that inde- 
pendence which is a fact ? It is not the Capital of the 
Confederacy, but of the TTnion that is threatened ; Washing- 
ton, not Richmond, is in peril. What do we wait for, what 
do we require ? They have won the admiration of the civi- 
lized world by their constancy, fortitude, endurance, bravery. 
The siege of Washington is a death blow to the Union. Five 
Confederacies, each larger than Austria and France, will be 
formed out of the fragments. A London journal was sure 

* Palmerston to Russell, September 23, 1862; Walpole's Life of Rus- 
sell, vol. ii, p. 350. 

t London Herald, September 16, 1862. 
$ Manchester Guardian, September 15, 1862. 
Liverpool Courier, September 17, 1862. 


the crisis of the war had come. The stunning defeat for 
which Wendell Phillips prayed had certainly been inflicted. 
From the first, separation would have teen better than hold- 
ing the South to an allegiance which could only be made a 
willing allegiance by the submission of the North to the slave 
power. Better not to fight at all than fight for the restora- 
tion of the Union without the abolition of slavery. Could 
Mr. Lincoln be induced to proclaim emancipation only by a 
series of defeats, then defeats and investment of Washing- 
ton were to be desired rather than deprecated. Now, if ever, 
it hoped Lincoln would lay aside his hesitation and make an 
end of postponement.* A Paris journal declared the sep- 
arate existence of the Confederate States a fact, the hopeless- 
ness of beating them demonstrated, and asked, can Europe 
wait longer before recognizing them ? It thought not.f 

The Federal Army was not beaten, Antietam was won, 
Lee was driven back to Virginia and the proclamation 
threatening emancipation was issued. Nevertheless the 
British Cabinet met, October twenty-third, and duly con- 
sidered the question of mediation but took no action what- 

The third member of the Government who wished for 
recognition was Gladstone. October was the month when 
members of Parliament went about the country addressing 
their constituents at public meetings and dinners. Follow- 
ing the custom Gladstone spoke at a dinner at Newcastle on 
the seventh of October. In the course of his speech he said : 
"We may have our own opinions about slavery; we may be 
for or against the South; but there is no doubt that Jeffer- 
son Davis and other leaders of the South have made an army; 
they are making, it appears, a navy; and they have made 
what is more than either, they have made a nation. We may 
anticipate with certainty the success of the Southern States 
as far as their separation from the North is concerned." $ 

Great was the sensation produced by these words. Every- 
body believed that recognition of the Confederacy would 

* London Star, September 15, 1862. 
t Constitutional, September 16, 1862. 
$ London Times, October 8, 9, 1862. 


soon "be announced. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Glad- 
stone must be aware of the policy of the Cabinet. Mr. 
Gladstone, cabinet minister and dialectician, would never 
have used these expressions save to announce a settled and 
official resolve. Recognition might not be immediate. It 
might be put off till Parliament met, or await a combination 
of Powers. But the Cabinet had made up its mind that the 
American war was over and henceforth two nations must 
exist on the American continent. For this the Cabinet was 
not to blame. They had followed the lead of the people, 
for "the educated million in England, with here and there 
an exception," had "become unmistakably southern." * 

At Manchester the statement of Gladstone caused great 
alarm. Orders for cotton were cancelled, and a business 
man wrote him complaining that his language at Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, with regard to the American war, had misled not 
only himself but the whole commercial community of Man- 
chester. People understood his words "to mean that our 
Government intends to recognize the Southern States of 
America. It would be desirable to know if what you said 
had not the meaning put on it, and that it was not your 
intention to say, or infer, Her Majesty's Government con- 
templated recognizing the Southern States of America." f 
Gladstone's secretary replied he was instructed to say that 
the Chancellor's words were "no more than the expression, 
in rather more pointed terms, of an opinion which Mr. Glad- 
stone had long ago stated in public, that the effort of the 
Northern States to subjugate the Southern ones is hopeless 
by reason of the resistance of the latter." $ 

To another, the secretary wrote that Mr. Gladstone "holds 
himself fully responsible for having declared his opinion at 
Leith, nine months ago, to the effect that if the Southern 
States of America were in earnest, the struggle on the part 
of the Northern States was hopeless; and again at Man- 
chester last week, to the effect that the Confederation which 

* Spectator, October 11, 1862. 

t London Times, October 20, 1862. 


January 11, 1862. 


had been formed under Mr. Jefferson Davis liad shown 
itself to be sufficiently supplied with the elements which 
make a nation and with the will and power to defend its 
independent existence." * 

Gladstone sent a copy of the letter to Russell who wrote 
in eply: "You must allow me to say that I think you went 
beyond the latitude which all speakers must be allowed, when 
you said that Jefferson Davis had made a nation. Recogni- 
tion would seem to follow, and for that step I think the 
Cabinet is not prepared. However, we shall soon meet to 
discuss this very topic." f 

That the Cabinet was not prepared for recognition had 
already been made plain. Just a week after Gladstone's 
speech, Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Secretary of State for 
"War, addressing the Herefordshire Agricultural Society at 
Hereford said: 'When we look at the number of armed 
men the South has raised, at the large armies in the field, at 
the ability of the Southern generals commanding those 
armies, it cannot be denied that the South deserved the name 
of belligerent. But when the Government was asked to go a 
step further and say that the Southern States have consti- 
tuted themselves an independent Power, then," it seemed to 
him, "international law would not be on our side." The war 
was not decided. Until it was decided, or so far decided in 
favor of the South as to induce the ISTorth to recognize their 
independence or to prove to foreign States that the North 
was incapable of continuing the contest, until that moment 
arrived, it could not be said, in accordance with the estab- 
lished doctrines of international law, that the Southern 
States "had, de facto* established their independence." All 
this being a matter of notoriety he did not think Her 
Majesty's Government was "guilty of any neglect in not 
recognizing the independence of the Southern States." $ 
Nevertheless Russell was much inclined to recognize theit 
independence. "If the Great Powers of Europe were to 
offer their good offices, and those good offices were to be 

* London Times, October 24, 1862, 

fLife of William Ewart Gladstone, John Morley, vol. ii, p. 80. 

$ London Times, October 17, 1862. Speech on October 14. 


rejected by the Worth/ 5 Her Majesty's Government should 
be fairly entitled to choose its time to recognize the Con- 
federacy. The best time would be "when the next campaign" 
opened, "and when Parliament was sitting." * If peace 
were not made before next May, said he, "I shall then 
be for recognizing the South. The Democratic Party may 
then have got the ascendency. I heartily wish their suc- 
cess." f 

John Bright thought Gladstone's Newcastle speech dis- 
creditable and calculated to do mischief. 

He has, said Bright, made a vile speech at Newcastle full 
of insulting pity for the North, and of praise and support 
for the South. He is unstable as water in some things; he 
is for Union in Italy, and for disunion and bondage in 
America. A handful of Italians in prison in Naples without 
formal trial shocked his soul so much that he wrote a pam- 
phlet and has made speeches upon it. But he has no word 
of sympathy or of hope for the four million bondsmen of the 
South. $ He "came of a family long connected with slavery, 
and is now the Minister in a country where aristocracy rules, 
and by which a Eepublic is necessarily hated, and I suppose 
he takes the color of the atmosphere in which he moves." 

A member of the American Legation noted in his diary 
that the speech had a bad effect. It was feared there might be 
something official about it; that it might be intended to 
indicate, in advance, a determination to recognize the 
South. || But when Adams had an interview with Russell 
he was told that Gladstone had been rebuked by all members 
of the Cabinet for his indiscreet speech, that the Chancellor 
had expressed his willingness to publish a retraction ad- 
dress to Lord Palmerston, nay, had actually sent the draft 
of such a paper to Palmerston. Indeed, Adams was assured 

* Russell to Sir G. C. Lewis, October 26, 1862. Goueh, The Later 
Correspondence of Lord John Russell, vol. ii, p. 329. 

t Russell to Sir George Grey, ibid., p. 332. 

$ Bright to Simmer, October 10, 1862. Trevelyan, Life of John 
Bright, p. 320. 

Bright to Thomas H. Dudley, October 18, 1862. Dudley MSS. 

|| Moran's Diary, Library of Congress. Entry under October 9, 


no change of policy was contemplated. Should any be 
adopted lie would be given early notice.* 

Mason was deeply disappointed. His mission, lie thought, 
might well be brought to a close. The rulers of the Cabinet 
were obdurate. They would neither recognize the Confed- 
eracy then, nor give any hint when and under what circum- 
stances they would do so in the future. Nevertheless, all 
things that happened in the North were working together 
for good for the South. 

The cotton famine was looming up in fearful proportions. 
Hundreds of thousands of mill hands were dependent on 
charity and were increasing in number from ten to twenty- 
five thousand a week. The public mind was much agitated 
and distressed by the prospect of suffering during the coming 
winter. Such conditions must surely affect the councils of 
the Nation. But he saw nothing of the members of the 
Government and often thought it due the dignity of the 
Confederate Government to bring his mission to a close.f 

The suffering in England to which Mason alluded was in- 
deed serious. In London, in Manchester, in many cities, Ke- 
lief Committees were collecting and forwarding funds, coal, 
clothing. In the manufacturing districts benefit societies, trade 
unions, savings banks were stripped of funds by the unem- 
ployed. Thousands who had no such resources were pawning 
furniture, clothes, anything on which they could obtain a 
penny. As autumn approached distress increased at an ap- 
palling rate. In twenty-four unions in the manufacturing 
district around Manchester the Poor Law Inspection reported 
that in October two hundred and eight thousand six hundred 
were receiving parochial aid. Cottage owners then gathered 
no rents, shopkeepers had no customers, and one quarter of 
the population had no other means of support than public or 
private charity. $ In the face of such dire distress could 
England respect the blockade ? Mason hoped not. He also 

*Moran's Diary, October 24, 1862. 

f Mason Papers, Mason to Benjamin, November 6, 1862. 

$The Index, October 2, 9, 23, 30; November 6, 13, 1862. See also 
History of the Cotton Famine from the fall of Sumter, Robert Arthur 


placed great hopes OB. the effect of Lincoln's proclamation, 
threatening emancipation. It was, lie wrote., generally be- 
lieved to- have teen issued under prompting by Adams, to 
head off recognition, and everywhere met with derision and 
contempt.* From one end of England to the other the press 
was bitter in its attack. Lincoln had no power to put forth 
such a proclamation. It had no legal force. He might as 
well have decreed that on and after January first debtors 
should cease to pay their creditors, f It was a world-wide 
announcement that he and his accomplices had come to the 
end of their tethers. $ He had, in desperation, ventured on 
an act of high-handed usurpation such as would hardly be 
dared by a monarch of a consolidated empire whose subjects 
had even the semblance of parliamentary government. Of 
his own will he had proclaimed a total change in the status 
of three million persons. So long as the Constitution of 
the United States existed the proclamation could have no 
legal force. Finding his authority waning, he sought to 
enforce it where it was utterly ignored. Having failed to 
conquer the South by his legions he had attempted to effect 
his purpose by the scratch of a pen. || Even if this proclama- 
tion of freedom for the slaves were legal, it would neverthe- 
less be a crime, f The moral principle at stake was entirely 
ignored. Emancipation was promised as a mere incident of 
war. The government would liberate the enemy's slaves as 
it would the enemy's cattle, simply to weaken them in the 
coming conflict.** Where he has no power, Mr. Lincoln 
would set the negroes free; where he has power he will 
consider them as slaves.f f 

Almost a month passed after Mason wrote to Russell 
complaining of what he considered an addition to the law 
of blockade as laid down in the Declaration of Paris; yet 

* Mason Papers, November 6, 1862. 

t Standard, October 7, 1862. 

$ Daily Telegraph, October 7, 1862. 

Morning Herald, October 7, 1862. 

|[ Morning Post, October 6, 1862L 

II Saturday Keview, October 11, 1862. 

** Spectator, October 11, 1862. 

ft London Times, October 7, 1862. 


no answers came from Her Majesty's Government Wearied 
with waiting he sent liome a copy of his letter and asked for 
instructions. They came late in December, bade him enter 
a protest against the purpose of Great Britain to alter, to the 
injury of the Confederate States, the law in relation to 
blockade. The protest was made,* but Russell could see no 
reason to modify his language to Lord Lyons. The Declara- 
tion of Paris did not mean that a port must be so blockaded 
as- really to prevent access in all winds, and independently of 
whether entrance might be made on a dark night ? or by 
small, low steamers, or by coasting craft creeping alongshore. 
There could be no doubt that a blockade would be in legal 
existence though a sudden storm, or change of wind occa- 
sionally blew the blockading squadron to sea. If driven off 
by force the blockade would be broken and must be renewed 
de novo. It must be practically effective, and he could not 
consider the Southern ports as other than so blockaded.f 
While Mason was busy in his way, another agent of the 
Confederacy, Henry Hotze, was striving, through the press, 
to inform the British public concerning the South, its peo- 
ple and its cause and in this way influence that public 
opinion which found expression in Parliament. Duly com- 
missioned a Commercial Agent, instructed to "impress on 
the public mind abroad the ability of the Confederate States 
to maintain their independence," to publish whatever in- 
formation he might possess likely to convey a just idea of 
their ample resources,:}: and provided with a contingent al- 
lowance of fifteen hundred dollars a year, he reached Lon- 
don in the autumn of 1862 and began at once to carry out 
his duties. So well did he succeed that in a short time he 
was writing, editorially and as a correspondent, for the Post,, 
the Her cdd., the Standard and the Market Review. The 
more Hotze observed the British public and the more he 
learned of its opinion on the war, the more convinced did be 
become that it needed to be informed. All the news that 
reached British journals came from Northern sources and 

*Pickett Papers, Mason to Russell, January 3, 1863. 
f Mason Papers, Bussell to Mason, February 10, 1863. 
$ Hotze to Mason, December 12, 1862. 


was distorted to suit the Yankee cause. He determined, 
therefore, with, the financial aid of Mr. Brewer of Maryland 
and Mr. Walter of Savannah, to begin the publication of 
the Index, A Weekly Journal of Politics, Literature,, and 
News. The manners and customs of the Confederate States, 
their resources and capabilities, the real status of the people 
were, Hotze said, a sealed book to Europe. If to this sealed 
book, the Index could awaken the interest of an indifferent 
reader the purpose of its founders would be accomplished. 
The plan was carried out and from May first, 1862, when 
the first number appeared, to August twelfth, 1865, no week 
passed without an issue of the Index* 

To a limited extent, Hotze reported, he had subsidized 
newspapers by procuring them subscribers from among his 
friends, and with money from the contingent fund. But the 
Index afforded a far more effective way of molding public 
opinion. Information concerning the South, especially its 
armies and their organization, was eagerly sought by the 
writers of leaders who found a ready market for it in the 
journals for which they wrote. He would employ these 
gentlemen to write for the Index., make them familiar with 
Southern affairs, attach them to the Southern cause, gain 
their support in the journals to which they contributed, and 
so found a school of Southern writers whose services in the 
moral battles he must wage would be far more effective than 
any that could be rendered by the pens of his countrymen, f 
Benjamin heartily approved. $ 

In Paris, Slidell met with no better fortune than did 
Mason in London. During an interview Napoleon told him 
that although it was for the interest of France that the 
United States should be powerful and act as a counter- 
weight to England's maritime power, his sympathy was with 
the Confederate States whose people were struggling for 
the principles of self-government, a principle of which he 
had always been a steady advocate. To find a way in which 
to give effect to his sympathy was difficult. In the mattet 

* The Index, No. 1, vol. i, May 1, 1862. 

f Pickett Papers, Hotze, September 26, 1862. 

$ Benjamin to Hotze, January 16, 1863. 


of the blockade lie had made a great mistake, which he deeply 
regretted. France should never have respected it. Euro- 
pean neutrals should have recognized the Confederacy in 
the summer of 1861 ? when the ports were all in its posses- 
sion. But what could now be done ? To open them by force 
would be an act of war. Mediation would be refused, and 
probably in insulting terms by the Worth. Recognition, 
while of little advantage to the South, might involve him in 
a war. England did not appreciate his kindly action in the 
Trent affair. For many reasons he wished to be on the best 
of terms with her, but the policy of nations changed with 
circumstances and he was obliged to look forward to the 
possibility of a time when relations might not be as friendly 
as then existed. 

Passing to the blockade, Slidell offered a great bribe to the 
Emperor if he would open the ports by force. Benjamin 
had instructed him to tender, in return for such a service, 
the introduction of French products free of duty for a cer- 
tain time. Lest the cost of the naval expedition necessary 
to break the blockade should be a hindrance, Slidell was to 
pledge the delivery to France, in specified Southern ports, 
of one hundred thousand bales of cotton each weighing five 
hundred pounds. At twenty cents a pound, the price in 
France, their value would be twelve million five hundred 
thousand dollars.* "It did not seem disagreeable" to the 
Emperor. Indeed, Slidell was sure "he will soon have a 
fleet in the neighborhood of our coast strong enough to keep 
it clear of every federal cruiser." The Qloire, the Garonne, 
or the Normandy could pass the fortifications of New York 
and Boston, hold those cities at their mercy, or enter Chesa- 
peake Bay, sink every vessel there and destroy Fortress 
Monroe by bombardment. 

The Emperor then spoke of recognition, saying mere 
recognition would be of no value. Slidell replied: there was 
a large minority in the North in favor of peace with separa- 
tion. But a reign of terror stifled all expression of this 
opinion. Congressional elections were at hand, and recogni- 
tion would encourage this minority and perhaps turn it into 

*Pickett Papers, Benjamin to Slidell, April 12, 1862. 


a majority. Humanity called on Europe, and especially on 
France, to end a war devastating the South, exhausting the 
North, and paralyzing the commerce of Europe. The policy 
of nations, the Emperor replied, is controlled by their inter- 
ests, not by their sympathies. True, said Slidell, but the 
interests to be consulted are not of the passing hour. Eng- 
land no longer played the great part she once did in world 
affairs. She had adopted a tortuous, time serving, selfish 
policy which made all nations her bitter enemies. The 
South, at first, was well disposed towards her, but, having 
adopted the old exploded principle of blockade, and in order 
to secure for her Indian Colonies the monopoly of cotton, 
having given a false meaning to the Declaration of Paris, 
the South would never again consider her a friend.* 

Slidell, despite the coolness of Napoleon, determined to 
formally demand recognition on the first fitting occasion, 
and now, the victories of Lee having afforded one, acted at 
once, and, July twenty-third, in an interview with Thou- 
venel, he announced that he had come to present a demand 
formally. Had you not better withhold it for the present ? 
he was asked. In a few weeks when we shall have further 
news from the seat of war we can better judge of the wisdom 
of taking so grave a step. A refusal to recognize might be 
harmful to the Southern cause. Slidell declared he must 
persist, and Thouvenel reluctantly received his letter. Mason 
delivered his note on the following day. Slidell heard no 
more of the matter until one day late in August when a 
friend, holding a high position in the foreign office, and on 
confidential terms with Thouvenel, called and said that the 
Minister did not wish to make a meaningless reply to the 
demand ; that at present he could make no other ; and that un- 
less Slidell insisted he would be silent. Slidell decided 
not to insist, but await more victories in Virginia, or until 
the Emperor returned from Biarritz and then ask for an' 
answer. Should it be unsatisfactory he would withdraw toi 
some place near Paris and stay until it was intimated that his! 
demand might be renewed. ]* 

*Pickett Papers. Interview of July 17, 1862. 
f Ibid., Slidell to Benjamin, August 20, 1862. 


By October, Napoleon Lad made up his mind, granted 
another interview to Slidell and promised to try to bring 
about joint mediation by England, Prance and Eussia. He 
would, he said, prefer to propose an armistice of six months. 
If refused by the North it would give good reason for recog- 
nition, perhaps for more active intervention.* So pleased 
was the Emperor with his plan that without delay his am- 
bassadors in England and Russia were instructed to propose 
that the three governments exert their influence at Washing- 
ton, and at Eichmond to obtain an armistice of six months. 
Both Powers declined, Eussia, because she believed that the 
semblance of any pressure whatever of a kind likely to 
wound puttie opinion in the United States, and excite feel- 
ings very easily aroused by the bare idea of foreign interven- 
tion, ought to be avoided ; f Earl Eussell, because he saw 
no hope, at the present moment, that the Federal Govern- 
ment would accept the proposal, and a refusal just then 
would prevent any speedy renewal of the offer. $ 

Slidell, encouraged by the Emperor's offer, and not at all 
discouraged by the refusal of Great Britain and Russia, 
waited for a fitting time when he might urge him to act 
alone. The crushing defeat at Frederictsburg seemed to 
provide just such a time. Slidell seized it and, January 
eighth, 1863, in a memorandum, begged the Emperor to rec- 
ognize the Confederacy without the support of England and 
Eussia. It may be that he had already decided to do so. 
It may be that he was moved by the appeal of Slidell. But 
whatever the cause, within four and twenty hours a dispatch 
to Mercier, his minister at Washington, was written and a 
copy shown to Dayton, then American Minister at Paris. 
Could not the United States, Mercier was asked in the dis- 
patch, accept the idea- of direct informal conference with 
commissioners representing the States of the South? In- 
formal conferences between belligerents did not necessarily 
require immediate cessation of hostilities. Plenipotentiaries 

* Prance and the Confederate Navy, John Bigelow,, p. 128, 
t The proposal was printed In the London Times, November 14, 1862. 
t London Times, November 15, 1862. See also Appleton's Cyclopedia, 
1862, p. 738. The Index, November 20, 1862. 

Pickett Papers, Slidell to Benjamin, January 11, 1863. 


had often met, exchanged communications,, agreed on all the 
essential provisions of a treaty of peace while the leaders of 
contending armies went on with the strife. The United 
States had done so. The negotiations which secured their 
independence were begun long before the war ended. Noth- 
ing, therefore, need hinder it from entering on an informal 
conference with the Southern States. Representatives of 
both parties could meet at some neutral place and examine 
reciprocal complaints. In place of the accusations the North 
and the South were casting on each other there would be 
discussions of the differences which parted them. By well- 
ordered and profound deliberations they would seek to find 
out if their interests were absolutely irreconcilable, if sep- 
aration could no longer be avoided, if the memory of a com- 
mon existence, if the many ties which had once made of the 
United States one sole and whole federal State were not 
stronger than the causes which had put arms in the hands 
of the two people. Persuaded that such a plan was for the 
best interests of the United States, the Emperor did not 
hesitate to recommend it.* 

Seward received the dispatch on the third of February 
and three days thereafter sent off his answer addressed to 
Dayton with instructions to leave a copy with Drouyn de 
L'Huys. With great courtesy and at great length he an- 
swered every argument made by the French Minister of 
Foreign Affairs, and politely declined to even consider the 
proposal. It amounts, he wrote, to this: that the Govern- 
ment while engaged in putting down an armed insurrection 
shall enter into diplomatic discussion with the insurgent on 
the question whether its authority shall not be renounced 
and the country delivered over to disunion and anarchy. If 
the Government could so far compromise the national author- 
ity as to enter into such debates, he could not see what 
good would come of them. No arguments a commission 
could make could persuade the leaders of the insurgents to 
abandon their disloyalty. An offer of peace, by the United 
States, on the basis of union, would be rejected. Peace 

* Drouyn d.e I/Huys to Mercier, January 9, 1863. Senate Executive 
Documents, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, No. 38. 


proposed at the cost of disunion would be immediately; un- 
reservedly, indignantly rejected by the American people.* 

The Senate haying called for and received copies of the 
letters now expressed its opinion on the proposal of Napo- 
leon. Because, it said, a plan looking to pacification through 
foreign mediation has been made by the Emperor of the 
French and promptly declined by the President; and lest 
the idea of mediation, or intervention in some form, should 
be regarded as practicable by foreign governments and they 
be led to do things tending to embarrass friendly relations, 
it was fit that Congress declare its intentions. The United 
States were grappling with an unprovoked and wicked re- 
bellion which sought the ruin of the Eepublic that it might 
found a new Power whose cornerstone should be slavery. 
In order to suppress the rebellion and prevent the establish- 
ment of such a Power the national Government was using 
fleets and armies and while so engaged any proposal from 
a foreign Government, having for its object the arrest of these 
efforts, would be an encouragement of the rebellion, would 
tend to prolong and embitter the contest and postpone the 
day of peace, and would be looked on as an unfriendly act. 
The United States, confident of the justice of their course, 
anxious for the speedy return of peace, awaiting with well- 
assured trust the suppression of the rebellion, announced as 
their unalterable purpose the vigorous prosecution of the 
war until the rebellion was put down. The President was 
requested to have these resolutions laid before foreign Gov- 
ernments, f 

Feeling in the South towards the proposal of Napoleon 
was well expressed by a Richmond newspaper when it said, 
we want none of his mediation, nor his pourparlers nor com- 
missioners. We have commissioners, they are Lee, Beaure- 
gard, Longstreet, Johnston. 

That Napoleon expected his offer of mediation to be ac- 
cepted, that he wished it to be accepted, is impossible to 
believe, for, while Drouyn de L'Huys was writing the dis- 

* Seward to Dayton, February 6, 1863. Senate Executive Document, 
37th Congress, 2nd Session, No. 38. 
f Adopted by the Senate and House, March 3, 1863. 


patch to Mercier, the Empeior was planning to allow the 
building, in his ports, of Confederate ships of war. Indeed 
he suggested it. 'Why not," he said to Slidell during the 
interview in October, "build a fleet T Two -vessels, Slidell 
replied, had been built in England" and others, including 
two powerful ironclad steamers, were under way. The diffi- 
culty was not to build, but to man and arm them. If the 
Emperor would but give some verbal assurance that his 
police would not observe too closely when men and guns were 
to be put aboard, the Confederate Government would gladly 
build war ships in France. "Why could you not have them 
built as for the Italian Government f ; the Emperor asked. 
"I do not think it would be difficult, but I will consult the 
Minister of Marine about it." * 

As the year drew to a close, hearing nothing further, Sli- 
dell called on the Secretary of the Emperor, related the con- 
versation concerning the building of war ships and asked 
him to remind Napoleon of his promise. It was January, 
1863, when he again saw the Secretary and was told that 
the Emperor, after consulting his Ministers, found the 
difficulties greater than he had expected and for the present 
could not give any encouragement. This was discouraging, 
but a few days later M. Annan of Bordeaux, the largest 
shipbuilder in France, a member of the Corps L<gislatif, 
and a man the Emperor was said to consult on all naval 
matters, came to Slidell, offered to build ironclad ships, said 
there would be no difficulty in arming and equipping them, 
and declared he spoke with authority.f 

Confident of success Slidell now wrote to the Confederate 
Secretary of State that as soon as Erlanger had placed the 
Cotton Loan he would send for Maury and Bulloch to come 
and make the contracts. The loan was placed in March and 
Bulloch promptly signed a provisional contract for four 
vessels of the Alabama type, the contract to take effect when 
Slidell had assurance that the vessels might be equipped 
and go to sea.$ 

* Pickett Papers, Slidell to Benjamin, October 28, 1863. 
f Ibid., Slidell, January 11, 1863. 
., April 20, 1863. 


1 Arman was too busy to build four within ten months 
as required by the contract. The two corvettes were there- 
fore undertaken by M. Voruz of Nantes. 

Through M. Arman an audience with the Emperor was 
now arranged for Slidell who asked for assurance from 
ISTapoleon that the ships might be armed and sail.* Napo- 
leon replied, he might build the vessels, but it would be nec- 
essary that their destination be kept seeret.f The pretense 
was therefore set up that the corvettes were for commercial 
purposes in the Indian Ocean, Chinese waters and elsewhere. 
Overruled by the Emperor, the Minister of Marine re- 
luctantly signed the order authorizing the building of the 
corvettes, and the work began. $ 

Propaganda in France was intrusted to Edwin de Leon. 
A special agent of the Department of State, he was given a 
secret service fund of twenty-five thousand dollars, and in- 
structed to use it for the enlightenment of public opinion in 
Europe. He reached London late in June, 1862 ; found the 
friends of the South depressed by the advance of MeClellan 
towards Richmond ; and as a private gentleman traveling in 
England had an interview with Palmerston, explained the 
situation in Virginia and assured the Prime Minister that 
Lee would certainly be victorious. His Lordship was po- 
litely incredulous but spoke candidly on recognition. The 
South, he said, must do much before it would be entitled to 
recognition as an independent nation. The capture of New 
Orleans, the blockade of the coast, were not to be ignored. 
Asked if the repulse of the Northern army before Eictmondi 
and a transfer of the siege from Kiehmond to "Washington 
would be enough, Lord Palmerston said, no. [[ 

From London de Leon hurried to Paris, and sought advice 
of Ferdinand de Lesseps, cousin of the Empress Eugenie, as 
to how he could reach the press and men of influence favor- 
able to "the cause." Journals "accessible and amenable to 

*Pickett Papers, Slidell to Benjamin, April 11, 1863. 

tlbid., June 21, 1863. 

SIbid., Slidell, February 16, 1864 

Ibid,, Benjamin to Mason, April 12, 1862, 

|| Ibid., De Leon, July 20, 1862. 


reason" he found were La Patrie^ Le Constitutiownel and 
Le Pays. These he subsidized. Opposed to the South -were 
the radical newspapers. After the free use of money he was 
able to write Benjamin that the semi-official, some clerical 
journals hitherto hostile, and the organs of the manufac- 
turers of Lyons, Bordeaux, Havre and Rouen were support- 
ing the cause of the South.* 

Host at Madrid, Mann at Brussels, Piekett in Mexico 
met with no success whatever. Helm when he presented his 
letter of credence as Special Agent to the Island of Cuba 
was informed that the Governor-General had no authority 
to receive him as such.f 

* Pickett Papers. De Leon to Benjamin, September 30, 1862. 

t Ibid., Host, March. 21, 1862. Mann, May 13, 29, July 5, November 
21, 1862. Piekett, July 28, November 29, 1861. Helm, October 22, 
1861; December 12, 1861; January 5, 1862. 




of what went on in Parliament, heedless of 
the Queen's Proclamation, ready to take all risks, merchants 
and speculators now plunged more deeply than ever into the 
exciting business of running the "blockade. The proclama- 
tion meant nothing. It was enough to know that the only 
barrier between them and the rich markets of the Confed- 
erate States was a thin line of slow vessels striving to close 
the ports of the South. Fabulous stories of fortunes of 
twenty, fifty thousand pounds sterling, made on a single 
venture, found willing ears, and the Mersey, the Clyde, the 
Thames were diligently searched for suitable ships. They 
must be swift enough to escape any chaser, light enough of 
draft to go over the bars at any port, and must be driven by 
propellers, for side wheelers could not make the necessary 
speed and were much more likely to be crippled. When 
demand outran supply building began, and before the year 
closed twenty-eight vessels especially designed for blockade 
running, were launched at yards along the bank of the river 
Clyde. Unable to get steamers fast enough, sailing vessels 
were bought or chartered, loaded with cargoes purchased on 
a joint-stock basis with shares at three hundred pounds 
sterling each, and dispatched to Nassau, Bermuda, Havana, 
Matamoras. Reputable insurance companies took risks at 
high premiums,* and owners of sailing craft openly adver- 
tised for cargoes for blockaded ports. Confederate agents 
worked hard to create a belief that the blockade offered 
little obstruction. Lloyd's claimed to have a list of one 
thousand vessels which had broken through. f 

* Adams to Russell, March 10, 1862. Executive Documents, 37tli 
Congress, 3rd Session, vol. i, pp. 45, 48. 

t Consul at London, January 31, 1862. Official Becords Navy, Series 
2, vol. xii, p. 557. 


Against all this Adams protested. The President, lie 
wrote Russell, had directed him to call attention to the 
unfortunate effect on the minds of the people of the United 
States of the conviction that nearly all the aid the insur- 
gents obtained from abroad came from Great Britain. The 
President was aware of the losses and embarrassment caused 
other nations by the blockade. He hoped soon to be able to 
lift it* But that depended on cooperation from without. 
Just in proportion to the success of the efforts of ill-inten- 
tioned persons in foreign countries to violate it, must be the 
endeavors to enforce it rigidly. Of the vessels which broke 
through a great part were fitted out in England. To let them 
go forth unnoticed by the Government was not only to in- 
crease irritation in the United States, but to prevent the 
bringing about of a better state of affairs.* 

The charge that nearly all the aid the Confederates ob- 
tained from abroad came from Great Britain,, Eussell de- 
clared, was vague. He believed the greater part of the arms 
and ammunition shipped from British ports went to the 
United States. True, it was the duty of nations in amity 
not to suffer their good faith to be violated by ill-disposed 
persons. But it was also a duty not to punish persons on 
mere suspicion, without proof of evil intent. It was not the 
custom in England to deprive persons of liberty or property 
without evidence of some offense. Adams had furnished 
him with no such evidence. 

As to cooperating with the United States in enforcing the 
blockade, he must remind Mr. Adams that Her Majesty's 
Government had abstained from complaining of the irregu- 
larity with which it had been established. Beyond forbear- 
ance and a liberal interpretation of the law of nations in 
favor of the United States, Her Majesty's Government could 
not go. If by cooperation was meant imposing restraints, 
or taking sides., he could not undertake to say that Her 
Majesty's Government would adopt either course. f Alleg- 
ing an insurrection to exist in from nine to eleven States, the 

* Adams to Russell, March 25, 1862. Executive Documents, 37th 
Congress, 3rd Session, vol. i, p. 55. 

f Executive Documents, 37tli Congress, 3rd Session, vol. i, pp. 62-63. 



United States for twelve months had attempted to maintain 
a blockade of three thousand miles of coast. This "blockade, 
kept up irregularly, but when enforced, enforced with sever- 
ity, had seriously injured the trade and manufacture of the 
United Kingdom. Thousands of persons were obliged to 
resort to poor rates for subsistence because of it. Yet Her 
Majesty's Government never sought to take advantage of 
obvious imperfections to declare it ineffective. But, when 
asked to go beyond this and lay arbitrary restraints on the 
trade of Her Majesty's subjects, it was impossible to listen 
to the suggestion.* 

Adams answered,, that mindful, not only of the interests 
of the citizens of the United States, but of those of all 
friendly nations., the President desired to hasten the day 
when the blockade might be lifted. Hence he saw with 
regret the strenuous efforts of evil-disposed persons in for- 
eign countries to impair its efficiency and prolong the strug- 
gle, and was embarrassed by the complaints of a friendly 
nation which, at the same time, confessed its inability to 
restrain its subjects from stimulating the resistance that 
made the continuance of the blockade necessary. Adams had 
before him a list of eleven steamers and ten sailing vessels 
dispatched within thirty days from Liverpool with supplies 
of all sorts for the insurgents, and was informed that large 
sums had been subscribed by British subjects to help the 
rebels carry on the war.f He alluded to a report from 
Dudley that forty thousand pounds sterling had been con- 
tributed in Liverpool to buy arms and ammunition for the 
Confederates, and that a second subscription was under 
way. $ 

Russell replied that the foreign enlistment act was in- 
tended to prevent subjects of the Crown from going to war 
when the Sovereign was not at war. They were forbidden 
to fit out ships of war in British ports, or enlist in the 
service of a foreign state at war with another foreign state. 

* Russell to Adams, May 6, 1862. Executive Documents, 37tk Con- 
gress, 3rd Session, vol. i, pp. 84-85. 

f Adams to Russell, May 8, 1862. Ibid., pp. 85-86. 

% Executive Documents, 37th Congress, 3rd Session, vol. i, p. 78. 


But owners and masters of merchant ships, carrying warlike 
stores, did not wage war. If taken running a blockade they 
were tried, condemned, and lost both ships and cargoes. 
That was the law of nations, and in calling on Her Majesty's 
Government to prohibit such adventures Mr. Adams was 
calling on it to do that which belonged to the cruisers and 
courts of the United States to do for themselves.* 

The little town of Nassau now took on the semblance of 
a shipping port of no mean pretensions. To it from England 
came not only arms and munitions, but salt, clothes, shoes, 
hats, hardware, edged tools, soap, saltpeter, books, pens, ink 
and paper, articles which found a ready sale in Southern 
ports. One week in June, five British steamers, all laden 
with contraband cargoes, lay at the anchorage ten miles east 
of Nassau. Dudley reported that seven left Liverpool within 
ninety days loaded with arms, and that he heard that thirty 
were to sail as a fleet to some Southern port and by force or 
strategy break through. Small vessels, often as many as five 
in a week, came in from Charleston or "Wilmington, or Fer- 
nandina, or Havana, with cotton, rosin and rice. The time 
for the return voyage was the dark of the moon. Then the 
runners would lie just out of sight of the blockaders until 
night when, guided by the riding lights of the enemy ships, 
they would go northward around the end of the line, run for 
shore, and, coasting along in shallow waters, make port. 
If discovered and hotly chased they ran ashore and were 
burned. A few were captured, going in or coming out, and 
sent to ISTew York. A dark and rainy night, a stormy night, 
a thick fog were great helps. Then, with all lights out, it 
was safe to steam through the blockading squadron. Many 
and many a day, after a fog had lifted, the lookouts from 
the mast heads of the blockaders off Charleston would see 
some newcomer riding safely at anchor under the guns of 
Fort Moultrie. 

During the early days of the war the trade was carried 
on by agents sent over from the Confederate States, the 
Consul at London said. These agents, aided by their friends 
and a few mercantile houses, bought the supplies, chartered 

* Executive Documents, 37th Congress, 3rd Session, vol. i, p. 93. 



the vessels, and shipped the goods. By far the greater part 
of the trade, save small arms 3 was now in the hands of 
British merchants, and supplies, bought with British capital 
and carried in British ships, crossed the Atlantic under the 
British flag. Men came from Richmond with contracts tinder 
which they were to deliver specified articles in Confederate 
ports and receive a large sum above cost. British merchants 
became interested in these ventures and shared in the profits 
or the losses. Frequently several joined, chartered a vessel 
and made up a cargo independent of contractors. Somebody 
would put up a steamer to carry cargo to a rebel port at an 
enormous rate of freight, or to Bermuda, Nassau, Havana, 
Matamoras at a lower rate. Ships bound on such voyages 
were not advertised, nor was their destination made known 
to the public. Their cargoes consisted of shipments by 
small speculators, or, if joint-stock concerns, each member 
shared in the profits or the losses in proportion to the sum 
he had invested. Steamers and cargoes were insured "to go 
to America with liberty to run the blockade." * 

When Adams asked Seward for some details as to the 
effectiveness of the blockade, for a list, if possible, of the 
vessels that had run in and run out, Seward made light of 
the matter. He could not give the names of the runners 
for they were not known. The real test was the effect of the 
blockade which had made cotton four times as costly in "New 
York as in New Orleans, and salt ten times as costly in 
New Orleans as in New Yorkf The blockade was as 
effective as any ever had been. $ 

Secretary Welles did not think so. Again and again he 
urged DuPont to charge his officers to be vigilant. Vessels 
were constantly running in and out of Charleston. From 
many sources he heard of communications kept up with 
Nassau. Small vessels with cotton arrived every day at 
Havana. Northern sensitiveness was aroused by anything 

* Morse to Adams, December 24, 1862. Claims of tne United States 
against Great Britain, vol. i, p. 731. 

f Executive Documents, 37th Congress, 3rd Session, vol. i, p. 42. 

$ Seward to Adams, February 17, 1862. Executive Documents, 37tli 
Congress, 3rd Session, vol. i, p. 36. 


which indicated commercial intercourse with the rebels and 
made unremitting vigilance necessary.* Tlie Senate grew 
sensitive, and "bade its Committee on Naval Affairs inquire 
if there tad been any laxity on the part of officers charged 
with the blockade of the South Atlantic Coast, and particu- 
larly at Charleston, and if there was any foundation for the 
statement of the British Consul that armed ships of the 
Confederate Government carrying munitions of war had 
gone in and out and no attempt made to stop them.f Du- 
Pont admitted there had been instances of evasion, but when 
he considered the difficulties of the service, the character of 
the coast, the needs of the blockaded people, the inducement 
of Mgh prices, he wondered that violations were so few. 
The conduct of the officers had been most satisfactory, and 
he should regret if the misstatements of a partisan agent of 
a foreign government, sympathizing with the rebels, cast a 
shadow on their just fame or lowered them in the estimation 
of their countrymen. $ 

The Confederate Secretary of War did not think the 
blockade was any hindrance to getting supplies from abroad. 
Savannah, he admitted, was closed. At Charleston the 
enemy relied on the stone fleet. Off Brunswick, Georgia, no 
blockader had been seen for two months. At Wilmington 
there was hardly a show of blockade. At Georgetown, South 
Carolina, there was no risk. If a vessel could manage 
to come within sixty or seventy miles of any one of these 
ports, so as to run in at night, there was small chance of 

As the spring and summer wore away more warnings of 
coming attempts reached Welles. Thirteen ships at Liver- 
pool, three at Glasgow, were taking on cargoes. Three had 
sailed from Nassau with arms and powder, and a fleet of 
seven steamers painted a light gray, even to their smoke- 
stacks, were preparing to sail in a body and break the block- 

* Official Records, Navy, Series 1, vol. xii, p. 69L 
t Ibid., p. 720. 
$ Ibid,, pp. 8, 9. 

Secretary of War to Louis Heysinger, January 5, 1862. Official 
Records, Series 4, vol. i, p. 832. 


ade by force, if necessary, at Charleston.* Ten vessels 
under the Union iag then rode at anchor off Charleston 
harbor; but despite warning and watching, DuPont, with 
great mortification, was forced to report that eight steamers, 
painted lead color, were in that port and that another had 

It was then the end of August. Across the ocean the 
agents of the Confederacy had been most successful. Lieu- 
tenant North had contracted with a Glasgow firm for the 
building of an ironclad frigate of thirty-two hundred tons; 
Bulloch had contracted with the Lairds for two ironclad 
rams; Erazer, Trenholm & Co. had presented the Confeder- 
ate Government with a gunboat under construction; Mr. 
George 1ST. Saunders had gone to England with a contract to 
build six iron blockade runners for the Treasury Depart- 
ment, and the Oreto and the (f %QQ" were at sea.f Judging 
from contracts in the hands of shipbuilders, it was said, the 
Confederate States Government is showing as much energy 
in creating an ironclad fleet as it manifested in the series of 
battles which threw the army of the Potomac, defeated and 
broken, behind the defenses of Washington. A large ram is 
under way in the Mersey without any attempt at conceal- 
ment, a vessel in the Brunswick dock has a cargo of plates 
ready to be fastened on the sides of Confederate vessels 
awaiting their arrival in Charleston^and ships are building 
at Birkenhead for the Chinese, that is, the Confederate Gov- 

First of the famous commerce destroyers to put to sea 
was the Sumter fitted out at ISTew Orleans. Commander 
Eaphael Semmes took her down the Mississippi to the head 
of the Passes, ran the blockade, and in the course of a week 
had ten prizes. Some he burned. Some he sent to Cien- 
fuegos, in Cuba. With the crew of one he put in at Trini- 
dad. Before landing them he sent for the two mates, told 
them he came to the island because it was a mail station, and 
said, had he received news that the United States had made 
good its threat to treat the crew of the Savannah as pirates, 

* Official Records, Navy, Series 1, vol. xiii, pp. 71, 81, 286. 
f Liverpool Journal of Commerce, October 14, 1862. 


he would have retaliated and hanged just as many of them. 
Late news from the United States did not put on him so 
unpleasant a duty.* 

There was then no American consul at Trinidad, But an 
American citizen wrote Seward that the prisoners were put 
on shore in so destitute a condition that money was collected 
to clothe them; that when the Sumter came, the British flag 
was raised on the Government flagstaff in her honor, that 
Semmes remained six days in port and was furnished with 
all necessary supplies for continuing his cruise. f Against 
this Adams, by order of Seward, protested to Russell. He 
replied that Her Majesty's Proclamation of Neutrality had 
not "been violated, that the Attorney-General knew no reason 
why the Sumter should not have been provisioned, and that, 
if the flag were raised, it was probably to show the nation- 
ality of the island.:}: From Trinidad the Sumter cruised 
along the coast of South America in the path of vessels from 
Rio and the Pacific, capturing and burning as he went, 
and, short of coal, put in at St. Pierre. There he was held, 
for a week by the presence, off the port, of the United States' 
sloop of war Iroquois; but escaped, went to Cadiz, was 
ordered away and made Gibraltar where he was soon block- 
aded by three United States cruisers. Unable to escape, the 
Burnter, by permission of the British Government, was put 
up at auction and bought by Frazer, Trenholm & Co. || 
Adams protested that the sale was fictitious, was a blind to 
rescue her from her present position, was using the British 
flag for protection until ready for further depredations on 
American commerce, f Again he protested in vain, and one 
windy night she slipped out and reached Liverpool whence 
she sailed for Nassau with shot, shells, guns and ammuni- 
tion.** During her memorable cruise she made prize of 

* Official Records, Navy, Series 1, vol. 1, p. 633. 

t Claims of the United States against Great Britain, vol. ii, p. 485. 

$ Ibid., p. 486. 

Official Records, Navy, Series 1, vol. i, pp. 635-637. 

|| Ibid., Series 2, vol. ii, p. 299. 

f Claims of the United States against Great Britain, vol. ii, p. 516. 

** Ibid., pp. 519, 521, 587. 


eighteen merchantmen, and visited forty-two ships of various 

Of the vessels built in England for the Confederacy, the 
first in the water bore the yard name, Oreto. No sooner was 
she launched than warnings came to Adams from Dudley, 
the vigilant Consul at Liverpool. Adams sent one of the 
letters to Russell who ordered an investigation. The Com- 
missioners of Customs reported that the Oreto was pierced 
for guns, but had nothing aboard save coal and ballast and 
was owned by parties trading with Palermo.* Further 
protest was idle, and, registered as an English ship, in the 
name of an Englishman, commanded by an English captain, 
and manned by an English crew, she set sail and entered the 
port of Nassau. Consul Whiting protested, and asked she 
be detained. Search was made, no warlike stores were found 
aboard, and no seizure followed. But that day several of the 
crew went to the British armed ship Greyhound and re- 
ported that they had left the Oreto because no one would tell 
her destination. Promptly seized by the Commander of the 
Greyhound she was soon released, was then seized by the 
Governor and a suit brought in the Vice-Admiralty Court at 
Nassau. August came before the judge set her free, and 
she sailed for Green Bay where her armament was put 
aboard, the flag of the Confederacy raised, and her name 
changed to Florida. Her new commander, Maffitt, took her 
to Mobile. Three vessels of the Federal Navy blockaded 
the bay, but she ran past them and, badly battered, made 
port in safety. 

While the Florida lay at Nassau the second of the cruiser, 
the ff %90" put to sea. Christened Enrico, she was launched 
at Birkenhead, in May, and by July was nearly ready to 

From the day of the launching she had been the subject 
of great concern to Consul Dudley, who under instructions 
from Adams prepared a formal letter, setting forth that two 
of the crew of the Sumter, a foreman in the Lairds* dock- 
yard, and the Captain and officers of a blockade runner, all 

* Claims of the United States against Great Britain, vol. ii, pp. 595 ? 


declared the Enrica had been built for the Confederate 
service.* Adams sent the letter to Eussell, who laid the 
matter before the Commissioners of Customs, who consulted 
their solicitor who advised them there was not sufficient 
evidence to justify detention, f At the suggestion of the 
Commissioners and of Lord Russell that Dudley should 
submit more evidence, he collected six depositions which 
Adams submitted to Mr. Collier, Queen's Council, for an 
opinion. Collier replied that the Collector would be justi- 
fied in holding the vessel, that it would be hard to make a 
stronger case of infringement of the foreign enlistment act. 
Indeed, it was the duty of the Collector to detain the Enrica. 
If allowed to put to sea it might be well to consider whether 
the United States Government might not have serious ground 
for remonstrance. J The depositions and the opinion were 
sent to Russell and laid before the law officers of the Crown ; 
but no decision had been made when a warning reached 
Bullochj and July twenty-eighth the Enrica left the dock- 
yard and dropped down the river. On the following day, 
dressed with flags and carrying a party of invited guests, 
she left, it was said, for an all day trial trip outside. In! 
the course of the afternoon the guests were informed she 
would not return, went back to Liverpool with Bulloch on a 
tug, and the Enrica anchored for the night in Mo elf r a Bay 
off the coast of Wales. Next morning a tug left Liverpool 
with some forty men for the crew, and about midnight the 
Enrica steamed away, passed around the north of Ireland 
and made for the Bay of Praya in the island of Tereeira, one 
of the Azores, a place to which the Agrippina with guns and 
ammunition had already set out from London. By that 
time the law officers had advised Eussell to detain the vessel. 
But when the order so to do reached the Collector of Cus- 
toms she had gone to sea. Adams now called on Russell and 
complained of the use of the port of Nassau by the blockade 
runners, and of the escape of the Oreto and Enrica. As to 
the Enrica, Eussell explained that the illness of the Queen's 

* Claims of the United States against Great Britain, vol. iii, pp. 6, 6. 

f Ibid., pp, 5, 7. 

$ Ibid., p. 8, 

Bullock, Secret Service. 

1862 THE ALABAMA. g-yj 

advocate delayed the decision, that other advisers were 
called in, and when their decision reached Liverpool the 
Enrica was gone. He would have her seized if she entered 
Nassau. As to the use of Nassau, he had received a letter 
signed by commercial people of Liverpool complaining of the 
blockade of the island by United States vessels, and the 
search of British vessels not engaged in illegal traded To 
them he had replied that Adams and Seward complained 
that ships had gone from Great Britain to run the blockade, 
that high insurance premiums were paid and arms and 
ammunition carried to Southern ports to enable the people of 
the Confederate States to go on with the war. Unable to 
deny these charges, or prosecute to conviction the parties 
engaged, he was not surprised that United States' cruisers 
watched with vigilance a port said to be the great entreport 
of this commerce. The remedy was to refrain from the 
trade. True ; the United States had supplied itself with 
arms despite the Queen's Proclamation but if the Confed- 
erates had command of the sea they would watch with equal 
vigilance and capture vessels going to New York. The duty 
of Her Majesty's subjects was to conform to the Proclama- 
tion and refrain from supplying either side.f 

Semmes and his officers who had been ordered back from 
Nassau, reached Liverpool to find the Enrico, gone. But 
the Bahama was waiting, and in her Bulloeh, Semmes, his 
officers and some sailors, late in August joined the cruiser 
and her consort and in the Bay of Agra guns, munitions and 
crew were transferred. The Enrica then put to sea, and 
when without the jurisdiction of Portugal, Semmes read 
his commission, raised the Confederate flag, and the Enrica 
became the cruiser Alabama. J 

The cruise of this famous commerce destroyer, a cruise 
which extended halfway around the globe, began off the 
Azores where ten whalers from Salem and New Bedford 

* Claims of the United States against Great Britain, vol. iii, pp. 35, 

f Ibid., vol. ii, p. 175. 

$ SemmeSs The Cruise of the Alabama and the Sumter, p. 103. Offi- 
cial Records, Navy, Series 2, vol. ii, pp. 263-264. Bulloch, Secret 
Service -of the Confederate States in Europe, vol. i 3 pp. 238-243. 


were captured and destroyed, and their crews suffered to 
make the coast of Flores in their whaleboats. One hundred 
and ninety-one men thus treated were, in time, carried to 
Boston in a vessel chartered by the American Consul in 
FayaL* Cruising westward until within two hundred miles 
of New York, Semmes added nine more to his list of ships 
destroyed, and sent two to port as cartels. As the steamers 
from England brought fuller and fuller accounts of the 
acts of the Alabama,, that she was off the Azores, that she had 
burned the whaling fleet, that the crews had landed on 
Mores, and finally reported the names of the vessels de- 
stroyed, consternation spread among the merchants, ship- 
pers, underwriters, of New York and Boston, and among the 
whalers of New England. Those of New Bedford sent a 
memorial to Lincoln, complained of the capture and burn- 
Ing of their six vessels, and the brutal treatment of officers 
and crews, stated their losses to be three hundred and sixty 
thousand dollars, and prayed for relief. f 

Having come within two hundred miles of New York, 
Semmes turned southward and, burning two vessels as he 
went, made for a port in Martinique where a tender awaited 
him with coal. But the day of his arrival the San J acini o 
appeared and, afraid to trust his crew in a fight, Semmes 
and his tender fled by night and coaled the Alabama at the 
island of Blanquilla. Sailing northward he reached Cape 
Maise and lay in wait for the California steamer which 
should have left Aspinwall on the first of December. News- 
papers obtained from neutral ships he boarded supplied him 
with this information and much more. They told how, 
because of his depredations, the insurance underwriters at 
Boston had fixed their rates for northern Europe at five, for 
the Mediterranean at six, for the Gulf at four, and for the 
"West Indies at six, per cent: how it was almost impossible 
at New York to get freight unless a bogus sale was made of 
the ship, and that an expedition under Banks was about to 
sail from New York for the South. 

*lSTew York Herald, October 21, 1862. 

f Claims of the United States against Great Britain, vol. iii, pp. 
101, 102, 108, 109. 


His patience was rewarded, and December seventh he 
captured the Ariel bound to Aspinwall with one hundred 
and forty marines and five hundred passengers. Marines 
and officers were disarmed and paroled 5 a prize crew put 
aboard and during three days Semmes waited for the Ocean 
Queen,, bound from Aspinwall to ISTew York, with eleven 
hundred thousand dollars in specie in her safes. His pur- 
pose was to take his prizes into Kingston. But,, informed by 
the captain of a vessel that yellow fever raged in that town, 
he released the Ariel under heavy bond, steamed for the 
Gulf of Honduras, and when the year ended was coaling and 
repairing off the coast of Yucatan, G-alveston was his next 
destination, for thither he believed had gone the expedition 
under Banks. His purpose was to attack by night, sink one 
or two transports, and be off before the convoys could get 
under way. Banks and his men were then at ~New Orleans, 
whither he had gone to relieve Butler. G-alveston had just 
been captured by the Confederates and was blockaded by 
three armed vessels of the United States. Through the car&- 
lessness of the lookout the Alabama, came too near, was 
sighted by the blockaders, and the Hatteras sent to find out 
who she was. Sailing slowly the Alabama, lured her enemy 
some twenty miles off the coast and about dusk allowed her- 
self to be overtaken. The fight began when the two ships 
were but thirty yards apart. But the Hatteras was no match 
for the Alabama, and in thirteen minutes was a wreck, 
struck her flag and quickly sank.* With her officers and 
crew Semmes made for Port Royal, Jamaica, landed his 
prisoners, was given a public reception and was permitted 
to make repairs.f 

Adams, meanwhile, continued his complaints. He sent 
copies of letters from captains of burned vessels. He called 
attention to the painful situation in which these successive 
reports of depredations by the Alabama placed the United 
States. He asked redress for national and private injuries 
she had caused, and for more effective precautions against 

* Official Records, Navy, Series 1, vol. ii, pp. 18-20. 
t Kingston Standard, January 24, 26, 1863, quoted by New York 
Herald, February 15, 1863. 


any repetition of such lawless proceedings in Her Majesty's 
ports hereafter. 

Russell could see no grounds for complaint. Vast sup- 
plies of arms and warlike stores for the United States Gov- 
ernment had "been shipped from British ports to New York. 
Munitions had found their way to ports in the Confederacy. 
The party which had profited most by these unjustifiable 
practices was the United States. For, having a superiority 
of force at sea and having blockaded most of the Southern 
ports the United States had received all the supplies it had 
induced British subjects to send in violation of the Queen's 
Proclamation. For these irregular proceedings Great 
Britain could not be held responsible to either party. The 
municipal law of the country did not empower Her Majesty's 
Government to stop such exports. Neither could Her Maj- 
esty's Government be under any obligations to make com- 
pensation for ships and cargoes "burned by the Alabama. 
As to more effective precautions for the future. Her Maj- 
esty's Government helieved some amendments might be made 
to the Foreign Enlistment Act. But, before asking Parlia- 
ment to make them, it was necessary to know if the United 
States would make like amendments in its Foreign Enlist- 
ment Act.* 

Sailing from Jamaica, Semmes went northward to the 
thirtieth parallel where India bound vessels crossed it, turned 
southward, and after a cruise along the coast of Brazil made 
for the Cape of Good Hope and put in at Cape Town. There 
the British Vice-Admiral welcomed and dined him, and the 
people, in crowds, came aboard his ship. The Cape was 
doubled in mid-September, the Indian Ocean crossed, and 
passing through the Sunda Strait into the Java Sea, the 
Alabama coasted along Borneo into the China Sea. Finding 
no ships to destroy Semmes turned back to Singapore, where 
twenty-two American ships were laid up, steamed through 
the Strait of Malacca and on to Quilon on the coast of 
Madras, crossed the Indian Ocean, went through Mozam- 
bique Channel, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and when 

* Adams to Russell, November 20, 1862; Russell to Adams, Decem- 
ber 19, 1862. 



near St. Helena crossed to the coast of Brazil and there 
burned his fifty-fifth and last prize.* June eleventh, 1863, 
he entered the harbor of Cherbourg. Winslow of the Kear- 
sarge was at once notified by the American Minister, and a 
few days later caused great excitement by his arrival off the 
breakwater. Semmes, considering his presence a challenge, 
decided to accept it, sent word, by a friend, to the American 
Consul that he wished to fight, would go out as soon as his 
preparations could be finished, and hoped the Kearsarge 
would not depart before he was ready. Winslow did not 
intend to hurry away. He came, not to rescue the prisoners 
taken from Semmes' prizes, but to capture the Alabama, and 
during five days lay off Cherbourg waiting. At last, on the 
morning of Sunday, the nineteenth of June, the Alabama, 
followed by the French warship La Couronne and the Eng- 
lish yacht Deerhound, came around the end of the break- 
water and moved toward the Kearsarge. The French 
Admiral had been much worried lest the fight should take 
place at or near the three-mile limit, and stray shots fall in 
French waters. Lest this should happen the Eearsarge 
moved seaward, the Alabama followed and the fight began 
some nine miles off the coast. At the end of an hour the 
Alabama, leaking badly, was headed for shore. But the 
water rose rapidly, the fires were put out, the ship was sink- 
ing fast, and Semmes, seeing the end had come, struck his 

A boat from the Alabama now came to the Kearsarge, an- 
nounced her surrender, and asked for help as she was fast 
sinking. It was sent back to render what aid it could. Mr. 
John Lancaster, owner of the Deerhound, which just then 
crossed the stern of the Eearsa/rge, was appealed to by Wins- 
low to help, and two boats, all that were left uninjured on 
the Kearsarge, were lowered. Before any of them could 
reach the Alabama she sank, stern first, and her crew w@s<e 
left swimming or struggling in the water. Seventy were 
picked up by the boats from the Kearsarge, twelve by the 

* Official Records, Navy, Series 1, vol. iii 3 pp. 50, 51, 52. 
t Semmes' Report, ibid,, pp. 649-651. Barrow's Report, pp. 654-656< 
Winslow's Report, pp. 59-61; 79-81. 


two French pilot boats, and forty, including Semmes, by the 
Deerhound. To the astonishment of Winslow she carried 
them to Southampton. For this Mr. Lancaster was warmly 
commended by Mason ? then in London; was thanked, in the 
last days of the Confederacy by the Confederate Congress,* 
and was assured by Davis, in his letter transmitting the reso- 
lution that the people of the South "will never cease grate- 
fully to remember your generous conduct"f Two corre- 
spondents of the London Daily News described Lancaster's 
share in the escape of Semmes as dishonorable. He had, he 
replied, been educated in the belief that an English ship 
is English territory, and could not see why he was more 
bound to surrender the people from the Alabama, than the 
owner of a garden on the south coast of England would have 
been had they swum to such a place and landed there, or 
than the Mayor of Southampton was when they were lodging 
in that city, or than the British Government now that it 
was known they were somewhere in England. $ 

Copies of the morning newspapers, containing long ac- 
counts of the fight, were sent off by Adams to Seward with 
the remark that the action of the master of the Deerkound 
would doubtless attract his attention. The more Adams 
reflected on that conduct, the more grave did the question 
to be raised with Russell appear to be. But he did not feel 
it to be his duty to demand, without authority, the surrender 
of the rescued men. || When, however, a copy of the report 
of Captain Winslow came to hand he sent it to Russell with 
some complaints, f His lordship replied that the owner of 
the DeerJiound performed only a common duty to humanity 

* Resolution approved,, February 14, 1865. Official Records, Navy, 
Series 1, vol. iii, p. 668. 

f Ibid., March. 1, 1865, p. 668. 

$ Official Records, Navy, Series 1, vol. iii, pp. 665-668. In Ms long 
cruise Semmes bonded 10 sMps and cargoes to the amount of $562,250 ; 
burned 55 snips and cargoes worth $7,050,293.76; visited and allowed 
to proceed 228; in all 293 vessels. 

Adams to Seward, June 21, 1864. Claims of the U. S. against 
Great Britain, vol. iii, p. 258. 
, || Ibid., June 23, 1864, p. 258, 

H Ibid., June 25, 1864, p. 261. 


in saving from the waves some of the officers and crew of 
the Alabama, and that it was no part of the duty of a 
neutral to assist in making prisoners of war for a belliger- 
ent,* and sent a copy of Adams' letter to the owner of the 
Deerhound, who made a long reply. In it he admitted that 
in leaving the scene of action so quickly he did so because he 
wished to save from captivity Captain Semmes and the men 
rescued from drowning.f 

Seward held that Semmes and his crew had been saved 
by unlawful intervention, and ought to be delivered to the 
United States, instructed Adams to remonstrate against the 
conduct of those who were furnishing supplies and paying 
wages to the escaped pirates of the Alabama, and bade him 
request Her Majesty's Government, with earnestness, to do 
what was necessary to prevent the preparation, equipment, 
outfit of any more hostile expeditions from British shores 
to make war against the United States. $ 

While Adams was complaining to Kussell and demanding 
the return of Semmes and his crew, Consul Dudley surprised 
him with the news that another pirate had gone to sea. It 
was the old story repeated. The steamer Sea King,, and the 
Laurel, her tender, with arms and munitions, left England 
at the same time from different ports, met at Madeira, went 
together to the island of Porto Santo where the guns, shells, 
and powder were taken from the Laurel, the commission read, 
the flag raised, and the Sea King became the Confederate 
cruiser Shenandoah. 

The purpose of Captain Waddell, her commander, was 
to destroy the whaling fleet in the Pacific. On this mission 
he started at once, burned six and bonded two vessels before 
the Cape of Good Hope was turned, spent a month at Mel- 
bourne, was warmly welcomed by the merchants and the 
people, was afforded every facility for repairs, and sailed 
with forty stowaways on board. Officers and crew were 

* Adams to Seward, June 27, 1864. Claims of the U. S. against 

Great Britain, vol. iii, p. 263. 

f Mr. Lancaster to Russell, July 16, 1864. Ibid., pp. 275-277 

$ Seward to Adams, July 8, 1864. Ibid., pp. 269-271, July 15, pp. 



well aware of their presence, for every one of them had 
taken service on the ship. In the harbor of Ascension Island 
four whalers were burned. None were found in the course 
of a month's cruise along the coast of Japan ; but, entering 
the Okhotsk Sea, Waddell destroyed a whaling bark whose 
mate offered to pilot him to the favorite grounds of Ameri- 
cans in search of the right whale. The offer was accepted 
and during a week in June, 1865, twenty-one whalers of thes 
ISTew Bedford fleet were burned and four more ransomed., 
From one of these, Waddell learned that Lee had surrendered 
and that the war was over. He refused to believe it and 
continued the work of destruction until he left Behring Sea 
for the Pacific. August second, 1865, in the latitude of San 
Francisco he fell in with a British bark whose captain told 
him that Lee, Johnston, Smith and Magruder had surren- 
dered their armies, that Davis and part of his cabinet were 
prisoners, that the war was over and that the Confederacy no 
longer existed. All guns and ammunition were quickly 
stowed and the Shenandoah., in the guise of a peaceful trader, 
headed for Liverpool by way of Cape Horn. 

After the Florida ran the blockade and reached Mobile, 
four months passed before she came out in the dark of a 
January morning, 1863. All that day she was chased by 
one of the blockaders ; but at dusk laid down a smoke screen 
and, hidden from view, changed her course and made for the 
coast of Cuba. Her pursuer went on towards Yucatan. Ten 
days later the Florida reached Nassau. She left it, months 
before, a British vessel under the British flag. She now 
returned a Confederate cruiser under the Confederate flag 
and was warmly welcomed. International law permitted 
her to remain twenty-four hours. She was allowed to stay 
thirty-six. International law gave her the right to buy 
enough coal to go to the nearest port of her own country. 
She steamed away with enough to last her three months, 
cruised as far south as Bahia, took and burned thirteen 
prizes, and turned a fourteenth, the brig Clarence, taken one 
day in May off the coast of Brazil, into a commerce de- 
stroyer. Putting some light guns and a few men aboard 
and giving the command to Lieutenant Eead, Maffitt sent 


Mm northward with a roving commission to cruise along tlie 
coast of the United States. Among the vessels Read captured 
off Maryland was the Tacony,, a bark which so pleased him 
that he transferred his guns, ammunition, and supplies to 
her, burned the Clarence, and shaped his course for a run 
along the New England coast As he went a Liverpool 
packet with several hundred passengers on board, a ship 
loaded with emigrants, a bark, a clipper and eight fishing 
schooners were captured and burned, "bonded or used as 

When news of his burnings reached port, the whole east- 
ern coast was thrown into excitement. The fishing trade 
from Nantucket to Eastport was paralyzed. At Boston the 
merchants met and offered ten thousand dollars for his 
capture, and listened to a letter from Welles. Any vessel 
you wish to send out for the special purpose of capturing the 
privateers on the coast, said he, will be commissioned by 
the United States. The commandant at Charlestown will 
furnish arms.* Aware that by this time the newspapers had 
fully described the Tacony, supposing that gunboats were 
searching for him, and finding his howitzer ammunition 
gone, Read set fire to the Tacony and in the Archer,, a small 
fishing schooner he had captured, stood in for the coast, 
and made Portland Light. Off Portland he picked up two 
fishermen who, mistaking the rebels for a party on pleasure 
bent, willingly piloted them into the harbor. From them he 
learned that the revenue cutter Caleb Gushing was in port, 
and that the passenger steamer to New York would remain 
during the night, and at once decided to boldly enter the 
harbor and after dark seize the cutter and the steamer. At 
sunset he entered^ anchored in full view of the shipping, 
waited until the moon went down, then boarded and captured 
the Cushing and, followed by the Archer, put to sea. 
Aroused by the boldness and impudence of the act, the 
Portlanders seized, armed and manned two steamers, started 
in pursuit and came on the rebels some twenty miles off 
shore. When five shots, all there were on board, had been 
fired, the Cushing was set on fire and the crew took to the 

New York Herald, June 27, 1864. 


boats. They were captured and with the Archer brought 
back to Portland.* 

One day in August, while one of the pleasure boats belong- 
ing to the Surf Hotel on Fire Island was sailing outside, a 
yawl boat was seen making for shore. On running alongside 
sixteen persons were found on board, members of the crews 
of a New York pilot boat, three brigs, a bark and a schooner 
captured and burned by the Tallahassee.^ She had run out 
from Wilmington on the night of August sixteenth, had been 
fired on and chased by the offshore blockaders, but made her 
escape and when near IsTew York burned six vessels, and 
bonded one and sent her into New York with all the crews 
of the prizes, save such as were found in the yawl. On the 
following day off the Long Island coast she burned the 
steamer Adriatic from London with one hundred and sixty- 
three passengers, burned a bark, a brig and a schooner, 
bonded two and sent them into New York with the pas- 
sengers and crews of her prizes. $ By this time eight armed 
vessels had gone from the Navy Yards at Philadelphia, 
New York and Boston in pursuit. Steaming eastward the 
Tallahassee scuttled a bark, burned a schooner and scuttled 
a ship. Off Cape Sable she fell in with two fishermen and 
four schooners, and scuttled all but one which she made a 
cartel and sent to Portland with the crews of the vessels 
she had destroyed. Thirteen cruisers were now scouring the 
sea in search of her, but found nothing but the floating 
wreckage she left in her wake. Eunning along the coast 
of Maine she destroyed seven vessels, released two and 
bonded one, and on the eighteenth of August entered the 
harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was ordered to leave within 
thirty-six hours, and a week later was back in Wilmington. 
During her cruise the Tallahassee burned sixteen vessels, 
scuttled ten, bonded five, and released two. || Late in 

* Report of Read to Mallory, October 19, 1864. Claims of tlie U. S. 
against Great Britain, vol. vi, pp. 370-372. New York Herald, June 27, 
28, 29, 1864. 

t New York Herald, August 13, 1864. 

$ Ibid., August 15, 1864. 

Official Records, Navy, Series 1, vol. iii, pp. 141, 143. 

[| Ibid., pp. 703-704. 



October she was again at sea, was hotly chased all day but 
escaped when night came on and before her return to port 
added six more prizes to the list of those previously captured 
and destroyed. 

The night before the Tallahassee went out, the CUcJcor 
mauga ran the blockade, went northward as far as Montauk 
Point, burned or bonded six vessels on the way, went to 
Bermuda and back to Wilmington destroying three more 
before reaching her home port. A vessel now arrived at 
New York, reported she had been captured by the Olustee 
and brought the crews of three other vessels sunk by the 
raider.* While the people were reading the meager reports 
of these depredations and wondering why the port of Wil- 
mington could not be closed, some comfort was afforded them 
by a report that the Florida had been captured in South 

After sending the Clarence northward, the Florida went 
to Brest where extensive repairs, the difficulty of smuggling 
sailors from England to make up her crew, the presence of 
the Kearsarge, detained her six months. At last one dark 
night in February, 1864, she put to sea, and off the 
Capes of the Delaware burned or sank eight vessels large 
and small and put their crews on neutral ships as passengers. 
Among those burned was a bark loaded with coal in tow of 
the seagoing tug America. As the Florida bore down the tug 
cut loose, and made for Hampton Roads, and reported her 
presence on the coast f The news was instantly telegraphed 
to Welles, and to the commandants at Philadelphia, New 
York and Boston. Within a few hours, ships of war were 
rushed from every port from Hampton Eoads to Portland. 
They went to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, to Nantucket Shoals, 
to George's Bank, to Cape Hatteras, to the Windward 
Islands. $ But nothing was seen of the Florida, for she was 
then on her way to Bahia which she reached in want of coal, 
provisions, and repairs, and anchored under the guns of the 
fort, not far from the United States steam sloop Wacfiusett, 

* New York Herald, November 5, 8, 14, 16, 17 ? 19, 1864. 
f Official Records, Navy, Series 1, vol. iii, pp. 100-116. 
tlbid., pp. 100-101. 


which a few days "before had come into the harbor. The 
President of the Province exacted from Lieutenant Morris 
of the Florida a solemn pledge to keep the peace, and from 
the American Consul assurance that Commander Collins 
of the WacJiusett would duly respect the neutrality of 

Determined to destroy the Florida, or lose his ship, Lieu- 
tenant Collins on the evening of the fifth sent the American 
Consul with a note challenging llorris to leave Brazilian, 
waters and fight. The lieutenant who received the note re- 
fused to deliver it because it was addressed to Captain 
Morris "the sloop Florida/' instead of to "The Confederate 
States Steamer Florida/' On the following day a Hunga- 
rian resident of Bahia came aboard. He had received from, 
the Consul a letter enclosing one for Morris. The letter to 
him, which he read ? was a request to carry the challenge. 
But the challenge was still improperly addressed and Morris 
would not receive itf Before daylight next morning the 
WachuseU left her anchorage under full head of steam, 
struck the Florida on her starboard quarter, cut her rail 
down to the decks, carried away her mizzen mast, swept her 
deck with musketry and canister, backed off and demanded 
her surrender. Morris and more than half the crew were 
on shore. The guns were not shotted. To resist seemed 
impossible and the Florida was surrendered. $ A hawser 
was at once made fast and with her in tow the WacJmseM 
put to sea, and in November entered Hampton Eoads. There 
a week later she was struck by an army transport and so 
badly damaged that in nine days she sank, to the great de- 
light of all true Union men. j] Brazil protested, f Seward 
replied that the act was an unauthorized, unlawful, indefen- 
sible "exercise of the naval force of the United States 77 ; that 

* President of BaMa to Consul Wilson, October 7, 1864. Official 
"Records, Navy, Series 1, vol. iii, p. 269. 

t Morris to Flag-Officer Barren, October 13, 1864. Ibid., pp. 631-633, 

$Beport of Lieutenant Porter to Morris, February 20, 1865 Ibid, 
pp. 637-640. 

November 19, 1864. 

|| November 28. Ibid., p. 277. 

t Ibid., pp. 282-285. 


Captain Collins should tie suspended and court-martialed; 
the Consul at Bahia dismissed, the flag of Brazil duly hon- 
ored, and the crew of the Florida set at liberty to seek a 
refuge wherever they could find it at the hazard of recap- 
ture when beyond the jurisdiction of the United States.* 

* Seward to the Charge d 3 Affaires of Brazil, December 26, 1861. 
Official Records, Havy, Series 1, vol. iii, pp. 285-287. Collins waa 
found guilty of "violating the territorial jurisdiction of a neutral 
government," and sentenced to be dismissed from the Navy. Ibid., 
pp. 268, 269, April 7, 1865. On September 17, 1866, Welles disapproved 
the sentence and bade Collins await further orders. Ibid., p. 269. 




RECOGIHZED by no foreign Power, cut off to a large extent 
from trade and commerce by the blockade, almost destitute 
of manufactures, deficient in the means of transportation, 
the South at the end of the second year of the war was suffer- 
ing greatly from want of many of the necessaries of life, and 
from all the evils of a depreciated and almost worthless 
paper currency. One of the problems the Provisional Gov- 
ernment was called on to solve at the very beginning of its 
career was how to find money to carry on war. After the 
manner of all revolutionary governments it resorted to loans 
and the printing press, and by the close of 1862 more than 
four hundred million dollars in paper was in circulation. 
Nor were the States backward in annual issues in the form 
of Treasury Notes, or Treasury Warrants. Some were re- 
deemable in Confederate Treasury Notes or in cotton bonds ; 
some not until six months or a year after the ratification 
of a definitive treaty of peace; across the face of some were 
the words, "cotton pledged," "faith of the State is pledged," 
"faith of the Commonwealth is pledged"; some were fiat 
money pure and simple. Postage stamps came early into 
use as small change. But States, cities, towns, corporations 
and individuals promptly put forth fractions of a dollar in 
notes and shinplasters which went at once into circulation. 
A story was told of a man who came to Alexandria to buy 
salt. He offered in payment fifty-cent and dollar notes of 
the Corporation of Warrenton, twelve-and-a-half-cent notes 
of the Town of Leesburg, fifty-cent notes of the Corporation 
of Charleston; fifty-cent notes of the Corporation of Win- 
chester, and shinplasters issued by the Manassas Gap Rail- 
road. North Carolina promised to redeem hers in 1866, and 
printed some on the backs of old bonds, and others on the 
backs of bills of her broken banks. Louisiana issued no 


paper fractions of a dollar until 1864. In New Orleans, 
therefore., wheel specie small change disappeared, its place 
was filled by tickets given out by merchants, tradesmen, shop- 
keepers, barroom proprietors, and by notes of city hanks cut 
into halves and quarters. 

As the flood of paper money swept over the South, prices 
of food, clothing, everything began to mount rapidly. For 
this, in the opinion of the people, there was no just reason. 
It was the work of speculators and profiteers who bought in 
great quantities and made their own selling prices. Against 
this the citizens of Nashville protested in public meeting, 
demanding that the legislature stop profiteering in the sta- 
ples of life, and called for a heavy tax on every gallon of 
liquor distilled from wheat, corn, rye or potatoes, and for 
the use of the proceeds for the relief of the families of men 
at the front. The Governor denounced extortion and the 
committee to whom his message was referred reported a bill 
to "suppress buying and selling on false pretenses," and an- 
other to "supress monopolies." In Alabama the Governor, in 
a proclamation, attacked profiteers engaged in forestalling ar- 
ticles necessary for the support of the soldiers and the poor, 
in order that they might extort extravagant prices, and for- 
bade State agents to buy from them. The Governors of 
Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi urged their legislatures 
to act, and the Mayor of Augusta, and public meetings in 
Macon and Savannah, sought to arouse popular action to 
suppress speculation in the necessaries of life. In April 
Provost Marshal, General Winder, interfered and by a gen- 
eral order forbade huckstering in the markets in Eichmond 
because it had become a great evil; forbade the practice of 
buying produce on its way to market, warned all persons so 
buying or selling within ten miles of Blchmond that they 
would be punished by court-martial; forbade buying at 
wholesale in the city markets until after the closing hour; 
issued a tariff of maximum prices for the sale of produce 
and declared none other would be allowed.'* A month's trial 
was enough. Farmers would not bring their produce to 

* General Order No. 12, March 31, 1862. 


market, and at the end of April the tariff was abolished. 
People will feel grateful for the revocation, said a Kichmond 
journal. Extortion and huckstering will go on as before; 
but there is this consolation, the public will be able to get 
produce at some price which before they could not get at 
any price.* 

Over the lower South the cost of living was higher than 
In Virginia. During January ten cents a pound, or twenty- 
one dollars a sack, was paid for salt in Augusta, and twenty- 
five dollars in Savannah. Sugar cost from nine to twelve 
cents a pound.f Earnest appeals were made to planters, by 
the press, to put in but half a crop of cotton. With that of 
last year in the gin houses it would be foolish to grow an- 
other, glut the markets of the world, and force the price down 
lower than it then was. Even if the blockade were raised 
within a month and cotton made a market, full value would 
not be realized when it became known that another great crop 
was being planted. Out down the usual area of cotton. Raise 
wool, wheat, vegetables, foodstuffs. $ The blockade was not 
raised. Ports Henry and Donelson were captured, Colum- 
bus and Bowling Green and Nashville were abandoned, the 
Union army advanced into Tennessee, and the press found 
a new argument for raising food, not cotton. Hitherto ap- 
peals had been made to the interests of planters. ISTow they 
were made to patriotism. What madness, it was said, for 
the planters of Carolina, Georgia and the Gulf States to 
think of growing cotton. They will starve the army and 
drive it from the field. Plant corn, plant corn. At Savan- 
nah, in April, beef and mutton cost thirty cents, and veal 
twenty-five cents a pound ; eggs forty cents a dozen ; chickens 
one dollar and a half a pair, and peas fifty cents a half peck. 
Tea and coffee were beyond the means of even the well-to-do, 
and flour was growing scarcer every day. In June the City 
Marshal interposed, called attention to the law of 1861, and 

* Richmond Enquirer. 

t Savannah Republican, January 4, 8, 1862. 

| Mobile Advertiser and Register, quoted by Savannah Republican, 
January 15, 1862. 
Savannah Republican, February 25, 1862. 


gave warning that any person who exacted, demanded, or 
received exorbitant, unjust or unreasonable prices for 'any 
of the articles named in the law would be guilty of extortion 
and on conviction might be fined not more than one thou- 
sand dollars, or imprisoned not more than six months, or 
both.* The City Council requested railroads and steamship 
companies not to carry salt or provisions out of the city un- 
less shipped by military authority or for family use. Any 
corporation disregarding the request would be an enemy to 
the City and the Southern Confederacy.! Drastic action 
was taken by the military authorities. They seized a large 
quantity of flour owned by speculators and notified the pub- 
lic that during the last ten days of June each family might 
buy one barrel for fourteen dollars and a quarter. Grocers 
pledging themselves to sell it for eight cents a pound might 
buy five barrels each. $ 

When midsummer came extortion was as bad as ever. 
The citizens of Eichmond, it was said, are completely at 
the mercy of a band of foreign hucksters. Matters have 
come to such a pass that every mouthful we eat, save flour, 
comes through their hands and is doled out at their exorbi- 
tant prices. Nothing but mob law will rid us of them. "We 
do not recommend it, but the day is near when it may be 
necessary. The sight of a huckster hanging from a market 
lamp-post would have a more beneficial effect on prices than 
the combined forces of the city authorities and General 
Winder. At Memphis a quinine pill cost a dollar and a 
half; a pin one cent; flour thirty dollars a barrel; a spool 
of cotton sixty cents ; calico a dollar a yard ; salt a hundred 
dollars a sack, ]| and boots twenty dollars a pair, f When the 
Federal troops entered Norfolk paper envelopes were selling 
for fifty cents a package; common thread was nine dollars 
a pound; spool cotton five dollars a dozen; coffee one dollar 

* City Marshal's Notice, June 13, 1862. 

f Savannah Republican, June 18, 1862. 

$Ibid., June 20, 1862. 

Eichmond Examiner, July 19, 1862. 

|| Louisville Democrat, June 7, 1862. 

If New York Tribune Correspondent, June 10, Tribune, June 18, 1862. 


and sugar thirty-one cents a ponnd ? and molasses two dollars 
and a half a gallon.* 

In Charleston from time to time were auction sales of 
"imported goods" which was but another name for articles 
of all sorts brought in by blockade runners. At one such 
sale cheese sold for eighty-two cents, black pepper for eighty- 
five cents, family soap for fifty cents, and linen thread for 
five dollars a pound. f Two months later at another auc- 
tion envelopes brought sixteen dollars, and letter paper 
eighteen dollars a ream; canton flannel forty-five cents a 
yard, and Liverpool salt fifty dollars for a three-bushel 
sack. Seven dollars a pair were paid for brogans, six dol- 
lars for women's laced boots, seven dollars and a quarter 
for women's Congress gaiters, and six dollars and a half for 
men's. At a Lake City sale of "imported goods" hoop skirts 
were bought for ninety dollars a dozen; canton flannel for 
one dollar and sixty cents a yard ; writing papers for twenty 
dollars a ream ; sewing silk for seventeen dollars a yard, and 
lead pencils for thirteen dollars a gross. $ Coffee at ninety 
cents a pound, and very scarce, was so far beyond the reach 
of all save the rich, that substitutes were used. Cotton seed 
dried, ground and mixed with one third its measure of coffee 
was tried and recommended. Sweet potatoes dried and 
ground were much preferred. The high price and scarcity of 
leather shoes forced the use of substitutes for them. As 
early as December, 1861, a firm in Raleigh began to make 
wooden shoes of gum and poplar, and claimed to manufac- 
ture one hundred pairs a day. || By the spring of 1862 
women on many plantations were making shoes for them- 
selves and their children. The cheapest way to make them, 
according to the Planter's Banner, was to take the soles of 
old shoes, soak them in water until limber, pick out the old 
stitches, fit them to the last after the cloth was fastened over 
it, and sew the soles to the cloth with strong waxed thread, 

New York Tribune, May 14, 17, 1862. 
f Savannah Republican, April 5, 1862. 
$Ibid., June 6, 1862. 

Charleston Mercury, quoted by Savannah Republican, April 2, 
|| Savannah [Republican, January 9 ? 1862, 


then tarn tlie shoe over and nail the heel in place.* So 
widespread was this practice of using homemade shoes that 
the Excelsior Wooden Shoe Sole was put on the market. IsTo 
discomfort would be felt in walking on them, the advertise- 
ment stated. "The shape of the sole completely dispenses 
with the necessity of pliancy." Directions went with each 
pair, thus enabling every man of ordinary capacity to make 
his own footwear and "free us forever from dependence on 
the North." f 

A soldier in Armistead's brigade wrote that his feet were 
perfectly naked. He had to tramp over frozen snow with 
bits of old blankets tied over them, a covering which came 
off constantly. There was seen in our streets a few days 
ago, said a Eichmond newspaper, a scene which must have 
aronsed our citizens to a lively sense of the condition of our 
soldiers. A number of regiments marched down Ninth 
Street, passing the very doors of the War Department. Citi- 
zens standing by saw what the newspapers have long tried 
to make them believe. They saw numbers of the men walk- 
ing barefooted throngh the melting snow. They saw them 
thinly clad in ragged and worn clothes. Some had no blan- 
kets ; some no hats. $ The legislature of Alabama, in order 
that fifty thousand pairs of shoes might be had for her sol- 
diers without delay and without extortion, authorized the 
Governor to seize and impress any shoes fit for soldiers, and 
any leather suitable for shoes, in the possession of anybody 
in the State. Just compensation was to be made. The 
captain of a company of fifty-one men appealed to the people 
of Georgia to overhaul their clothes and see if they could not 
spare some. His men, in their march through Kentucky, 
had lost all their clothing save what was on their backs, and 
that was in bad condition. || The ministers of all denomina- 
tions in Atlanta appealed through the newspapers for blan- 

* Savannah Republican, April 29, 1862. 
f Richmond Examiner, September 29, 1863. 

t Richmond Despatch ; Richmond Whig, quoted by New York Herald, 
December 13, 1862. 

Act of November 19, 1862, Official Records, Series 4, vol. ii, p. 196. 
|| Atlanta Intelligencer, New York Herald, December 5, 1862. 


kets, quilts, covering of any sort that could keep the soldiers 
warm." 55 * Blankets made of carpets were in common use. It 
was suggested in Charleston that wool in old mattressesj 
though not so good as new, would do well enough to work 
up into cloth. The Aid and Eelief Association ; organized 
to help the government obtain underclothes and blankets 
for the troops before winter set in, urged families to give 
up their blankets and use cotton comforts. 

A Southern woman wrote in her diary that her brother 
told her that every carpet in his home, except one, had been 
made into coverlets for the troops.f Bishop Meade, of Vir- 
ginia, gave his study carpet. $ Clergymen in Richmond, 
from their pulpits, begged for carpets to be made into 
blankets. A lady in Mobile wrote that her house was with- 
out carpets; they had been sent to the army. || In Savannah, 
at a public meeting, held to take into consideration the press- 
ing need of the army for clothing, the proprietors of the 
Pulaski House offered every carpet in their establishment 
There were one hundred and twenty of them, and they would 
make at least five hundred blankets, f The Alabama legisla- 
ture ordered all the carpets in the State House cut into 

An apothecary in Richmond gave notice that persons wish- 
ing to have prescriptions put up must bring their vials, for 
it was utterly out of his power to furnish them.ff The 
Confederate States Bible Society, printing testaments for 
the soldiers and forced to use old paper boxes for binding, 
called on the merchants of Georgia to send all the bonnet 
boards and boxes used for packing shoes and fine goods they 
could spare, $$ The Secretary of the Navy was compelled to 

* Atlanta Intelligencer, New York Herald, December 5, 1862. 
t Diary of a Southern Refugee, November 7, 1862, p. 169. 
$ Memoirs of Jefferson Davis, Mrs. Davis, voL iii, p. 527. 
The Index, February 5, 1863. 
|| Ibid., April 2, 1863. 

U Mobile Tribune, October 7, 1863, New York Herald. October 27, 

** Richmond Examiner, December 7, 1863. 

ft Richmond Enquirer, June 29, 1862. 

$$ Atlanta Intelligencer, New York Tribune, June 14, 1862. 


send to Ills agent In Bermuda for office supplies, foolscap, 
letter and note paper, envelopes, copying ink, recording ink, 
gold pens, steel pens, pen knives, erasers, "boots for letter 
press copying, and record books bound in full Russia. One 
of the greatest needs of the Confederacy, it was pointed out, 
was a rolling mill for making sheet iron and copper boiler 
plates. Bars and rods could be manufactured, but not a 
joint of stove pipe could be rolled south of the Potomac.* 
Such was the need of rails that a convention of representa- 
tives of the railroads of Virginia, Tennessee east of Knox- 
ville, and North Carolina north of Weldon, met at Eich- 
mond and appointed a committee to confer with capitalists 
and owners of machine shops and procure proposals to set 
up rolling mills for the making of rails, boiler plates, every- 
thing required by the railroads.f So scarce were arms that 
Lee, in order to equip "an additional force of cavalry/ 7 called 
for gifts of carbines, revolvers, pistols, saddles, bridles. 
There were enough such arms and equipment, he believed, 
held by the citizens as trophies or for defense, to satisfy his 
need. Muskets, rifles, pistols, carbines, taken from the 
United States, and therefore the property of the Confederate 
States, were, it was claimed, held by citizens over all the 
Confederacy as trophies, or for their own defense. Give them 
up, it was said, every one of them, old and new, good and 
bad, broken and sound. The need of them is urgent. For 
want of each one of them a volunteer may be kept from the 
field, or sent to risk his life with a fowling piece or an old- 
time flint lock. Magistrates and police should apply the 
law, take them from those having neither honesty nor patriot- 
ism and send the arms to the Ordnance Officer at Manassas 
Junction. $ 

Want of iron, said Secretary Mallory, is severely felt 
throughout the Confederacy. Scrap iron of all sorts is being 
industriously gathered by agents, and we are rolling railroad 
iron into plates for covering our ships. Want of expert 

* Richmond Enquirer, December 6, 1861. 

t Ibid., February 22, 1862. 

$ Ibid., February 13, 1862. 

Official Records, Navy Series 2, vol. ii, p. 246. 


workmen was felt in every workshop, public and private 
alike. Some had been forced to shut down. Others were 
working to but a third or a quarter of their capacity. Skilled 
men were scarce because a large part of those employed in 
the South came from the IsTorth, or from abroad, and left 
when the war began. Southern mechanics were in the 

Such was the scarcity of lead that the citizens of Charles- 
ton gave the weights of their window sashes to be made into 
bullets. The ordnance officer at Savannah begged the resi- 
dents of that city to do the same, and offered iron weights in 
exchange, f The Planters Bank gave not only its window 
weights but the lead blocks on which checks were canceled. 
Send on your lead ! it was said. Let every man cast about 
for the smallest particle he has on his premises. $ 

Such was the scarcity of gun metal that in Marietta, 
Georgia, the congregations of the Episcopal, Methodist, Bap- 
tist, and Presbyterian churches offered the Secretary of War 
their church bells to be cast into cannon; the people 
of Sandersville, Georgia, stripped every steeple in town, and 
the Bureau of Ordnance asked for every bell in the Con- 
federacy that could be spared. Copper was abundant, but 
tin was scarce. 

Beauregard appealed to the planters of the Mississippi 
Valley. More than once, he told them, a people fighting with 
an enemy, less ruthless than yours, for rights, for home and 
a country, had not hesitated to melt and mold into cannon 
the precious bells surmounting their houses of God. We 
want cannon as greatly as any people who ever melted their 
church bells to supply them. Send your plantation bells 
therefore to the nearest railroad depot, subject to my orders, 
to be made into cannon for defense of your plantations. (| A 
great number, gathered at "New Orleans in response to this 1 
appeal were found by Butler, soon after he entered that city, 

* Official Records, Navy, Series 2, vol. ii, p. 243. 
t Savannah Republican, March 29, 1862. 
$IMd., April 3, 1862. 
Richmond Enquirer, April 1, 1862. 

|| Index, May 1, 1862. The appeal is dated at Jackson, Mississippi, 
March 8, 1862. 



were sent to Boston and there sold at auction.* Lead, It 
was urged, could be obtained from old tea chests which con- 
tained from two to five pounds. Bells contained so much 
tin that twenty-five hundred pounds of bell metal, when 
mixed with the proper amount of copper, would suffice for 
a field battery of six guns. Eeceipts would be given and 
the bells replaced after the war.f Sunday last, said a jour- 
nal published in Griffin, Georgia, a feeling of profound sor- 
row filled our hearts. ISTo sound of a church bell was heard 
in the city. All have been donated to the service of our 
country. $ 

Use of coffee in the hospitals as an article of diet was 
forbidden by the Surgeon-General. So limited was the sup- 
ply it must be used only for medicinal purposes, or as a 
stimulant. As a substitute for quinine he sent out a for- 
mula for a tincture of dogwood, poplar, willow bark and 
whiskey. || Vegetables were so scarce in the army that medi- 
cal officers in the field were bidden to make every effort to 
have gathered, for the use of men afflicted, or threatened; with 
scurvy, a daily supply of native edible plants and herbs grow- 
ing near the camps. Wild mustard, watercress, wild garlic, 
sassafras, lambs-quarters, sorrel, shoots of pokeweed, arti- 
chokes, peppergrass, and wild yams were suggested, ^f 

Thrown on their own resources the people found substi- 
tutes close at hand for many essential articles. Dogwood 
berries replaced quinine. From blackberry roots and per- 
simmons was made a cordial for dysentery. An extract of 
wild cherry bark, dogwood and poplar was a cure for chills 
and fever. A syrup made from mullein leaves and cherry 
bark was a remedy for coughs, and lung troubles. The castor 
bean yielded castor oil, and the poppy opium and laudanum. 
Dyes were obtained from berries, leaves, roots and bark. 
Pine tree roots yielded a garnet; myrtle a gray; poke berries 

* National Intelligencer, August 3, 1862. 

f Richmond Enquirer, April 1, 1862. 

$ Confederate States, quoted by Savannah Republican, April 7, 1862. 

Official Records, Series 4, vol. ii, p. 1021. 

|| Ibid., p. 1024. 

H Ibid., p. 467. 


a bright red ; hickory bark a bright green ; queen's delight a 
jet black; walnut hulls a brown, indigo a blue, and willow 
bark a drab. Green corn and sweet potatoes yielded starch. 
Ashes of corncobs were used for raising flour dough. Kasp- 
berry, blackberry, huckleberry leaves, were a common substi- 
tute for tea; and okra seeds, yams, sliced and dried, and 
browned wheat., for coffee. No substitute for coffee was 
thought equal to sorghum seed. Made into flour it was ex- 
cellent for hoecakes. Root of buckeye boiled with flannel 
yielded a fine lather.* Salt was obtained by boiling dowm 
the washings of soil under old smoke houses, and the brine 
left in old pork barrels. Buttons were made of wood, per- 
simmon seeds, gourds ; hats of corn husks and oat and wheat 

As the year drew to a close food became more and more 
costly, harder and harder to get. Hour in Eichmond cost 
twenty-one and twenty-five dollars a barrel according to 
quality; bacon seventy cents; butter one dollar and a half; 
coffee three dollars; sugar sixty-five cents. $ We have long 
since given up tea, coffee, sugar, wrote a Southern planter. 
Our rice lands are so carefully guarded by enemy gunboats 
we cannot get our crop to market. Bacon, on which we feed 
our servants, has given out. Only think of ten dollars for 
a small box of candles! We burn lard with a paper taper 
in our bedrooms, have not a yard of calico, and are making 
homespun. There is great scarcity of wheat. The crop in 
Virginia is not one quarter what it should be. Unless some- 
thing is done to afford transportation for all the wheat that 
can be procured, failure and ruin await our army. [| Lee's 
army was drawing so close to the end of its supply of fresh 
meat that there was but enough to last until the first of 
January, f The harvest had not been abundant and though 
the area devoted to grains was far larger than usual, the 

* Savannah Republican, Richmond Enquirer, October 6, 1864. 
t A Blockaded Family, pp. 37-50, 102, 103. 
t Richmond Enquirer, December 12, 1862. 
ISTew York Tribune, January 31, 1863. 

]| Commissary General C. S. A. to Secretary of War, November 3, 
1862; Official Records, Series 4, vol. ii, p. 158. 
f Ibid., p. 158. 



crops in many parts of the Confederacy were below the 
average and in some threatened scarcity. High cost and 
want of transportation made collection and distribution diffi- 
cult. Ravages of war by a malignant enemy had devastated 
whole districts of fertile country. Redundant issues of Treas- 
ury IsTotes had caused a great rise in prices and inspired a 
widespread and inordinate spirit of speculation. This must 
go on, hence producers were reluctant to part with their 
produce. Impressment of food was absolutely necessary.* 

Many believed that speculators were more to blame than 
poor crops, poor transportation and a depreciated currency. 
Judge Gholson in his charge to a Grand Jury of the Circuit 
Court at Petersburg urged vigorous measures against them- 
An army at home composed of speculators and extortioners, 
he said, had embarrassed Government and oppressed the 
poor by sending prices to fabulous figures, and had distressed 
soldiers at the front who had received letters from their 
families setting forth that they could scarcely get food and 
raiment. Merchants were not the only speculators. Com- 
petitors were found in doctors, lawyers, farmers, mechanics, 
all eager to speculate in anything. Were a thing for sale in 
any part of the Confederacy, speculators raced thither to see 
who could get it. Did a ship run the blockade hundreds of 
them rushed to the port and ran every article in her cargo 
to fabulous prices. Conspicuous among extortioners, the 
Judge continued, were hotel keepers. Thousands put in 
motion by the war had crowded the hotels ; many could not 
be accommodated, and prices were raised because the pro- 
prietors saw their chance. They said the cost of everything 
was enormous. But they did not furnish everything. Genu- 
ine tea and coffee at a hotel would startle a traveler. 
Seventy-five cents for a yard of Osnaburg was three times its 
value. Why does a man give up his purse to a highwayman ? 
Because he cannot help it. Why give seventy-five cents a 
yard for Osnaburg? Because we cannot help it. What i^ 
the difference between the highway robber and the cotton 
manufacturer ? Both are robbers. Let every cotton factory 

* Report of Secretary of War to DaYis, January 3, 1863, Official 
Records, Series 4, vol. ii, j>- 292. 


be seized. Let tlie legislature pass laws to "bring the insane 
to their senses. Let it no longer be said we cannot protect 
ourselves from the outrages of our own people. We pass 
laws to prevent usury ; why not to prevent extortion ? * 

Governor Vance, of North Carolina, complained that a 
cry of distress came up from poor wives and children of 
soldiers and from all parts of the State ; that extortion and 
speculation had reached such proportions that to provide the 
troops with winter clothes and shoes, save by submitting to 
outrageous robbery, would be impossible; that cotton and 
woolen factories had advanced prices to an unheard-of ex- 
tent, and that common shirting was fifty cents a yard when 
twenty-five cents would yield the mill owners three hundred 
per cent profit. f The demon of speculation and extortion, 
he told the legislature, seemed to seize on all sorts and con- 
ditions of men, and the necessaries of life were fast getting 
beyond reach of the poor. in February a lady was made prisoner while try- 
ing to get through K-osecranz's lines. On her person was 
found a letter from Mrs. Foote, wife of the one time Senator 
from Mississippi and then a member of the Confederate 
Congress. Mrs. Foote was boarding in a house opposite 
Governor Letcher's mansion. Such living, she wrote, was 
never before known on earth. The poorest hut in the Ten- 
nessee mountains was a palace in comparison. The boarders 
cooked their own, food. In her larder was a boiled ham 
which cost eleven dollars, three pounds of coffee at four 
dollars the pound, a pound of green tea for which seventeen 
dollars was paid, a pound of butter six months old which 
cost two dollars, and two pounds of brown sugar at two 
dollars and three quarters a pound. For the room, without 
food, she paid three dollars a day. Dinner the previous day 
consisted of two boiled eggs, baker's bread and water. $ 
There were those in many places in the South to whom such 

* Charge of Judge Thomas E. Gholson to Grand Jury at Petersburg, 
Kovember 17, 1862. Richmond Enquirer, November 26, 1862. 

f Vance to Weldon N". Edwards, September 18, 1862. Official Records, 
Series 4, vol. ii, pp. 85-86. 

$ Cincinnati Commercial, April 10, 1863. 


a repast would have seemed sumptuous. They were hungry 
and, no longer able to bear their ills in peace and quiet, be- 
came riotous. At Salisbury, JSTorth Carolina, and at Atlanta, 
shops of dealers in provisions were broken open and sacked.* 
Placards demanding "bread or peace" were posted in Mo- 
bile, f In Bichmond, one April day, there was a bread riot 
There was a spirit of unrest abroad. A gathering of discon- 
tented women in the Baptist Church had been addressed by 
Mary Jackson whose business was huckstering in the market, 
and because of her speech, assembled on Oapitol Square, and 
led by her, $ growing in numbers as they went, proceeded to 
Gary Street, looted the shops of flour, meal, bacon, food of 
any kind which they contained, and passing into Main Street 
robbed the shops of jewelry, millinery, shoes and clothing. 
Troops were called out, the Mayor read the riot act, the 
Governor appeared and gave the rioters five minutes in 
which to disperse or be fired on and would probably have 
carried out the threat had not Davis arrived and, climbing 
on a wagon, persuaded them to go home. On the following 
day there was another gathering of women and men, another 
demand for bread, and a scattering of the crowd by the 
battalion. A few were arrested; among them was Mary 

Now that a dollar in gold was rated as worth four and 
three quarters in paper, bacon cost a dollar, coffee four, green 
tea, when it could be had, eleven, butter two and a half, 
candles three and common soap eighty cents a pound. Eggs 
were a dollar and a quarter a dozen, fowls six dollars and 
turkeys from six to ten dollars a pair. Potatoes had risen 
to twelve and beans to twenty dollars a bushel. Had a 
woman clerk in one of the departments, living on one hun- 
dred and twenty-five dollars a month, gone to market to 
buy two eggs, a quarter of a pound of bacon, a quarter of 
a pound of butter, a quarter of a pound of coffee, a quarter 
of a pound of sugar, all of which before the war would have 

*Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia, 1863, p. 838. 
t Official Records, Series 1, vol. Hi, Part 1, p. 448. 
I Jones. Rebel War Clerk's Diary, vol. i, p. 284. 
Richmond Examiner, April 3, 4, 6, 13, 24, 1863. 


cost her sixteen cents,, she would have been forced to pay 
for her purchases two dollars and sixty cents. In September 
when eggs were two dollars and a half a dozen, butter four, 
sugar three, bacon three, coffee eight dollars a pound, the 
young woman would have paid four dollars and ninety cents 
for what in 1860 could have been bought for sixteen cents. 
For a ream of note paper fifty dollars was asked ; for letter 
paper seventy-five; for foolscap one hundred. Envelopes 
were sixty dollars a thousand. Old ones were turned inside 
out and used again. Letters were often written on brown 
paper, on leaves torn from ancient copybooks or account 
books, on any scrap of paper that could be found. The 
author of the Diary of a Southern Refugee, unable to obtain 
a copybook, was forced to write on wrapping paper.* The 
author of Richmond during the War declares f that family 
letters were written on paper so poor in quality that before 
the war it would not have been used for wrapping. In the 
office of the Richmond Enquirer 'Thrown paper, waste paper, 
backs of old letters and rejected essays, unpaid bills, bits of 
foolscap torn from the copybooks of youth and the ledgers 
of business men/' were used for writing editorials. 

Hungry people concerned the Government far less than a 
hungry army. To the States might safely be left the matter 
of domestic food supply. But the Government must feed the 
army or, in a little while, there would either be no army, or 
the troops would be living on the people. Fed it must be; 
but to obtain the necessary food was no easy matter, for the 
prices asked by hoarders and speculators were now too high 
for even the Government to pay, and the farmers would no 
longer take the rapidly depreciating Treasury Notes. Noth- 
ing seemed to be left save impressment, and late in March, 
accordingly, Congress passed an Impressment Act. $ When, 
the needs of an army in the field were such, it provided, as 
to make impressment of forage, articles of subsistence, or 
property of any sort, absolutely necessary, seizure might be 
made by any officer whose duty it was to furnish subsistence. 

* Diary of a Southern Refugee, p. 225. 

fPage 193. 

$Act of March 26, 1863. 


Should the owner and the officer fail to agree as to the value 
of the articles taken, the officer must obtain from the owner 
a certificate that they were grown, or produced, by him, or 
bought for consumption and not for speculation or sale, 
must lay the dispute before two loyal and disinterested citi- 
zens, and if necessary a third chosen by the two, and pay the 
price fixed by the arbitrators. Property in the hands of 
others than producers, or growers, when impressed must be 
paid for according to a schedule agreed on and published 
every two months by a board of Commissioners for each 
State. One was to be appointed by the President, a second 
by the Governor of the State in which the first was to act, 
and these two, when necessary, might choose an umpire.* 

That there might be abundant crops and plenty to impress 
Congress appealed to the farmers to plant foodstuffs. Be- 
cause, the resolution set forth, there was an impression 
throughout the country that the war would end within the 
present year, an impression which was leading many to 
plant cotton and tobacco to an extent to which they would 
not otherwise go; and because in the opinion of Congress 
labor should be employed chiefly in producing food, there- 
fore, the people should be warned to expect a long war and 
instead of planting cotton and tobacco should put in such 
crops as would insure food enough for all and for any 
emergency, f 

Davis was requested to issue a proclamation to this effect, 
and did so in April. He reviewed the two years of war 
on land and sea, and said there was but one danger which 
the Government regarded with concern shortage of food. 
The long drought of the last summer had cut down the yield 
of the harvest far below the average. This shortage was 
most marked in the northern part of the Confederacy where 
supplies were especially necessary for the army, and if, 
through confidence of an early peace, the fields were given 
over to cotton and tobacco instead of to cattle and grain the 
consequences might be serious indeed. "Your country/ 9 he 
said, "appeals to you to lay aside all thought of gain. Let 

* The law is given in full in Official Records, Series 4, vol. ii, p. 469. 
fBiclunond Enquirer, April 15, 1863. 


your fields be devoted to corn, oats, beans, peas, potatoes, to 
food for man and beast. Let corn be sown broadcast for 
fodder, and near the rivers, railroads and canals." * 

To the proclamation was attached a plan proposed by the 
Secretary of War. Let the people in each county, parish, 
ward, meet and choose a committee. Let the committee as- 
certain from each citizen how much surplus corn and meat 
he could spare for the army, fix the price to be paid, arrange 
for transportation, receive the money on delivery and give 
each owner his share, f 

The Impressment Act required the expenditure of money 
for the food seized. But the Confederate Congress soon 
followed it with another act designed to procure food for the 
army without payment in money, a tithing act payable in 
produce. Every farmer and planter in the Confederate 
States was required, after setting aside for his own use fifty 
bushels of sweet potatoes, fifty of Irish potatoes, fifty of 
wheat, twenty of peas or beans, the produce of the year 1863, 
to pay over and deliver to the Government one tenth of his 
crop of wheat, rye, oats, corn, buckwheat, rice, sweet pota- 
toes., Irish potatoes, peas, beans, cured hay or fodder, and 
one tenth of his sugar, molasses^ cotton, wool, tobacco. ^ 

No sooner were the Impressment of Food Act and the 
Tithing Act in operation, than both became causes of bitter 
discontent. The Impressment Act, because lazy, careless, 
indifferent officers impressed supplies nearest at hand and 
neglected those more remote; because they did not leave 
enough for the use of the farmer ; because they seized things 
they had no right to touch, as milch cows ; because the sched- 
ule rates were far below the rapidly rising market prices due 
to the steady depreciation of the currency. So arbitrary, 
so highhanded were the acts of the agents that the governors 
and the legislatures in several States attempted to protect 
the citizens. 

During the session at which the Impressment and Tithing 
Acts were passed, the Confederate Congress attempted to 

* April 10, 1863. 

t Richmond Enquirer, April 15, 1863. 
of April 24, 1863. 



bring down the price of gold and food by lessening the 
amount of currency in circulation, "by offering to exchange 
high interest-bearing bonds for two hundred millions of 
dollars in non-interest-bearing Treasury ISTotes. All such, 
according to the provisions of the Act,* were divided into 
two classes. In the first class were those dated prior to the 
first of December, 1862. They were made fundable in eight 
per cent bonds if offered before the twenty-second of April, 
1863, in seven per cent bonds if offered between that date 
and the first of August, 1863, and after that day they were 
not to be fundable at all. In the second class were notes 
dated between the first of December, 1862 and the sixth of 
April, 1863. They were fundable in seven per cent bonds if 
offered before August first, 1863, and thereafter in bonds 
having four per cent interest. 

The immediate effect of the Act was to discredit non-in- 
terest-bearing notes issued prior to December first, 1862. 
Banks refused to receive them on deposit. Eailroads would 
not take them in payment for freight or passage. In Vir- 
ginia the legislature ordered that none issued before the 
sixth of April be received in payment of taxes. The second 
effect was to inflate the currency, for the act also provided 
that the Secretary of the Treasury might issue fifty millions 
a month in new notes bearing no interest. By the first of 
August one million dollars in old notes had been funded. 
But the steady issue of the new swelled the amount in circu- 
lation from two hundred and eighty-nine millions in Jan- 
uary, 1863, to six hundred millions in October. The price 
of a gold dollar rose from three in paper in the beginning of 
1863 to twenty before the year ended. Prices of food and 
clothing went higher and higher as the value of Treasury 
Notes went down; farmers in many sections of the Confed- 
eracy refused to take them and this, combined with the lack 
of transportation brought the people in several cities near to 
starvation. Flour in Richmond, in September, was thirty- 
five dollars a barrel; bacon two dollars and twenty cents; 
brown sugar two dollars and a quarter; coffee five dollars, 

* Act of March 23, 186a, 


and soap ninety cents a pound. In October flour was forty- 
five dollars a barrel; bacon two dollars and sixty cents; 
brown sugar three dollars; coffee eight dollars and soap one 
dollar a pound. In November a barrel of flour cost seventy 
dollars, and the city mills ceased to grind for want of 
grain. A pound of coffee cost nine and a half dollars,* and 
before the month ended flour was held at one hundred and 
ten dollars a barrel.f Flour speculators, a journalist com- 
plained, are masters of the situation. A barrel of flour at 
any price is next to impossible to obtain. One Saturday 
morning in October the supply of meat gave out in the 
market, and many families had to dine "on a Grahamite 
dinner." But what was to be expected so long as beef was 
impressed for the benefit of twelve thousand Yankee prison- 
ers ? $ The City Council of Petersburg begged the Secretary 
of War to exempt from impressment such provisions as the 
city might purchase for the benefit of the poor. He did so. 
Pood, it was said, is scarce and high in the cities because the 
farmers are holding it back to make a scarcity; because 
government agents seize every article that comes to market 
and the farmers fear lest their stock be impressed ; because 
the frequent advances made in schedule rates lead farmers to 
believe that by holding back they will get higher; and be- 
cause of the difficulty and high cost of transportation. The 
railroads charge from three hundred to five hundred per cent 
more than is lawful. [ | "How are we to live ?" asked a Sa- 
vannah editor. "Flour is one hundred and twenty dollars a 
barrel, and not a bushel of corn, meal or grits is for sale in 
the city. Last Saturday grits cost us sixteen dollars a 
bushel. Grain dealers, we are told, bring nothing in from 
fear of the impressing officer. Planters give the same reason 
for not risking consignments on the railroads, f The stock 
of provisions is ample; yet all the necessaries of life have 

* Richmond, November 2, 1863. Richmond Enquirer. 

tlbid., November 20, 1863. 

: Richmond Enquirer, November 2, 1863. 

Ibid., October 24, 1863. 

|| Ibid,, November 9, 1863. 

^Savannah Republican, December 21, 1863. 

1863 HIGH COST OF FOOD. 345 

advanced in price till they are beyond the means of people 
in moderate circumstances. Nearly the whole country is 
going without tea, coffee., sugar, and bread and meat may 
soon be out of reach. Congress must come to the bold de- 
cision to reduce the currency. Money is too cheap. People 
would rather keep what they have than exchange it for a 
currency of so little 

Savannah Republican, November 23, 1863. 




THE steamships which left New York in early December 
carried to Liverpool newspapers containing the President's 
message to Congress. Little, if any, interest was taken in 
much of it, but that part in which he asked that the Con- 
stitution be so amended as to provide for compensated eman- 
cipation was read with interest, and contempt. Neither 
President Lincoln nor his Congress, it was said, has any 
power to legislate for slavery in the Southern Confederacy. 
Nothing they can say or do on that subject will have any 
effect on the determination of the South to establish its com- 
plete independence. If the Federal States are to prevent 
that consummation in any way they must do it by conquest, 
not by bargaining, not by persuasion. The time for bargain- 
ing has long gone past. The only significance of this last 
appeal consists in showing the straits to which he is reduced 
in order to reconcile the conflicting parties in the States 
which still recognize his authority.* The proposal is politi- 
cally important only as showing his reluctance to carry out 
his celebrated emancipation proclamation, f He had lost 
faith, if he ever had any, in that preposterous proclamation. 
That the Union should be restored by such a simple process, 
and emerge from the strife loaded with a debt of three thou- 
sand millions of dollars and purged of its curse of slavery is, 
we are afraid, the dream of a weak man.$ We can see no 
prospect of an extensive liberation of slaves save by war. 
After the blood that has been shed no mere paper settlement 
of the question is possible or desirable. Under other circum- 
stances, at another time, by another person, such a proclama 

* Manchester Guardian, December 17, 1862. 
t Liverpool Mercury, December 17, 1862. 
t London Post, December 16, 1862, 
London New& ? December 16 ; 1862, 


tioii miglit well excite once more the enthusiasm of the days 
of Wilberforce and Clarkson. But the proclamation is no 
homage to principle or conviction, for slavery, so odious in 
Alabama, is tolerated in Kentucky.* But the old enthusiasm 
of the days of Wilberforce and Clarkson was aroused and 
found expression in meetings, resolution and address. On the 
last day of the year great gatherings were held at Sheffield, 
Manchester, London. After the arrival of the news that 
Lincoln had made good his promise and had proclaimed the 
emancipation of slaves in the States in rebellion, the meet- 
ings- grew in number, and during January, February, March 
and well into April, Adams was kept busy receiving ad- 
dresses brought by delegations and acknowledging those sent 
by mail. 

Very different was the feeling of men in public life. 
Russell thought the proclamation of a strange nature. It 
proposed to emancipate all slaves in places where the Federal 
authorities had no jurisdiction. It did not emancipate 
slaves in any State or parts of States occupied by Federal 
troops where emancipation could be carried into effect. In 
the Border States and in New Orleans a slave owner might 
recover his fugitive by due process of law. In ten States a 
fugitive arrested by legal process might resist, and if suc- 
cessful his resistance must be upheld and aided by the 
authorities and armed forces of the United States. It made 
slavery at once legal and illegal. There was no declaration 
of a principle adverse to slavery. It was a war measure of 
a very questionable kind.f Archbishop Whately explained 
the causes of hostility to the North. Those least favorable 
were not so from approbation of slavery, but "because they 
knew not that the war was waged in the cause of abolition. 
It is waged, they would say, for restoration of the Union. 
Some believed the South had as much right to secede as the 
Colonies had to rebel against Great Britain. Many held 
that, considering the dreadful distress caused by the cotton 
famine, great forbearance had been shown in not recognizing 
the South and breaking the blockade. Others were provoked 

* London Times, January 15, 1863. 
f Russell to Lyons, January 17, 1863. 


by the incessant railing at England poured forth by the 
American press. Not a few were sure if the Confederates 
continued to hold their own as they had done for two years 
past, they would be recognized by the great Powers of 

When Parliament met in February a passage in the speech 
from the throne brought on a discussion of American affairs, 
"Her Majesty/' it read, "has abstained from taking any 
steps with a view to induce a cessation of the conflict be^ 
tween the contending parties in North America because it 
has not yet seemed to Her Majesty that any such overtures 
could be attended with a probability of success." The allu- 
sion was to the invitation of Napoleon. Lord Derby re- 
gretted it had not been accepted. But he had no complaint 
to make. Their lordships must remember that before offer- 
ing to mediate neutrals must be sure the parties between 
whom it was proposed to mediate were satisfied with the 
terms on which it was offered. In this case one side was 
struggling for union; the other side for separation. Any 
one offering mediation must decide whether to proceed on 
the principle of union, or disunion. Here was an obstacle at 
the very outset. It had been said that the time had come 
to recognize the Southern Republic. He did not think so. 
The restoration of the Union as formerly constituted was 
impossible. But the war was still going on, the seaboard 
was in possession of the North, large Federal armies were 
in the Southern territory, and this being so the Government 
had no right to recognize the South unless it meant to in- 
tervene in force and lay down the terms of separation. 

Disraeli had always looked on the struggle as a great 
revolution. Before the war the United States were colonies 
and engaged in colonization, and lived under all the condi- 
tions of colonial life save complete independence. But im- 
partial observers must have been convinced that in that 
community were smoldering elements which indicated 
change, perhaps a violent change. Immense increase in 
population and greater increase of wealth; introduction of 

*To Harriet Beecher Stowe, January 6, 1863, London Times, Jan- 
uary 16, 1863. 


people of foreign races in large numbers as citizens; the 
character of the political constitution; want of a theater for 
the ambitious and refined intellects of the country; the in- 
creasing influence of the United States upon the political 
fortunes of Europe; all these indicated the possibility that 
the mere colonial characters of these communities might sud- 
denly be violently subverted, and those Imperial character- 
istics appear which seem to be the destiny of man. Whoever 
In the House was young enough to live to see the conclusion 
of the consequences of the war, would see a very differnt 
America, an America of armies, of diplomacy, of rival states, 
and menacing cabinets, of frequent turbulence and of fre- 
quent wars. 

He had, therefore, during the last session, exerted what- 
ever influence he had to dissuade his friends from embar- 
rassing Her Majesty's Government in that position of dig- 
nified reserve they had taken on the question. At the same 
time it was natural to feel the greatest respect for those 
Southern States struggling for some of the greatest objects 
in existence, independence and power. Great was his sur- 
prise, therefore, when in the course of the autumn, Her 
Majesty's Government commissioned one or two of their 
members to repair to the chief seats of industry and declare 
a change of policy. It was not an accident. The declara- 
tion was made formally, and it was made avowedly with the 
sanction of the Government. If it meant anything, it meant 
that the Southern States would be recognized, for if it were 
true that they had created armies, navies, and a people, the 
Government was bound by every principle of public law to 
recognize their political existence. 

As Adams looked about him he saw nothing in our rela- 
tions with Great Britain save what was discouraging. The 
Georgiana had sailed despite his protest. When he sent 
seventeen intercepted letters written by Confederates, and 
claimed that they showed a deliberate attempt to set up in 
England a system of action hostile to the United States, he 
was told they gave no evidence of any such an attempt* 

* Executive Documents, 38th Congress, 1st Session, vol. i, pp. 97, 98, 
132, 166. 


When he presented a memorial from an insurance company 
asking payment by Great Britain of policies on ships burned 
by the Alabama, he was told Her Majesty's Government dis- 
claimed all responsibility, and hoped "they had made this 
decision plain." * Forster, who visited him one evening, 
found him greatly depressed, and was urged to do something 
to "make the Ministry alive to the nature of the difficulty." 
He promised to do so and in a few days asked, in the House 
of Commons, if the attention of Her Majesty's Government 
had been called to the danger threatening friendly relations 
with the United States because of the fitting out, in the ports 
of Great Britain, of ships of war for service under the 

The Solicitor-General replied that the Foreign Enlist- 
ment Act was passed for defense of British neutrality 
against invasion of it by other Powers, not because of any 
obligation. "What," he asked, "is the extent of the rights 
which a foreign government derives from the act?" Only 
this: it may appeal to the friendly spirit of the neutral State 
to enforce its own statutes, according to its own principles of 
judicial administration. The United States had no right to 
complain if the Act were enforced in the way English laws 
were always enforced against English subjects; enforced 
on evidence, not on suspicion; on facts, not on presumptions; 
on conclusive testimony, not on mere accusations of a foreign 
minister, or his agents. 

Mr. Laird, father of the brothers in whose yard the 
Alabama was built, defended his sons. From the day the 
vessel was laid down, until her completion, all was open and 
aboveboard. If, said he, a ship without guns, without arms, 
is a dangerous article, surely rifled guns and ammunition are 
quite as dangerous. He had examined the bills of entry in 
the Customhouses at London and Liverpool and found that 
vast shipments of implements of war to the Northern States 
had been made through Baring & Co., and Brown, Shipley 
& Co. of Liverpool, and through others. From the first of 
May, 1861, to the last day of December, 1862, forty-one 

thousand muskets, three hundred and forty-one thousand 

~- _ _ _ 

* Executive Documents, 38th Congress, 1st Session, vol. i, p. 167. 

18G3 THE COTTON* LOAN". 35! 

rifles, twenty-six thousand gnu flints, forty-nine million per- 
cussion caps, twenty-two hundred swords, had gone to the 
United States, and he might add that from a third to a half 
had been shipped as "hardware." * From January first to 
March seventeenth the bills of entry showed shipments of 
twenty-three thousand gun barrels, thirty thousand rifles, 
three million percussion caps.f 

The day before the debate Adams had an interview with 
Russell, and complained of the floating of the Cotton Loan. 
The story of the Loan begins on a September day, 1862, 
when a representative of a great banking house in Paris sur- 
prised Slidell by an "uninvited suggestion" to "open a credit 
to our Government by a considerable amount." JSTo sum was 
mentioned, no terms were named. But the basis was to be 
cotton delivered, to the parties making the advance, at points 
in the interior of the Confederate States. Uo express author- 
ity had been given Slidell to borrow money, and he supposed 
none had been given Mason. But money was needed for 
ships and arms and he took the responsibility. If cotton 
could be given for recognition it surely might be for muni- 
tions. $ 

As arranged at Paris and revised at Richmond, the agree- 
ment provided that Emile Erlanger & Cie., of Paris and 
Frankfurt, should float a loan of three million pounds ster- 
ling. The bonds were to run for twenty years, bear seven 
per cent interest, and be redeemed one fortieth every six 
months, or be exchanged for "New Orleans middling cotton 
at six cents a pound. Erlanger & Cie. were to pay the 
Confederate agents in Europe seventy-seven pounds sterling 
for each one-hundred-pound bond. March eighteenth sub- 
scription books were opened at London, Paris, Frankfurt 
and elsewhere, and within three days subscriptions in Lon- 
don alone amounted to nine millions of pounds sterling. 
When all were in they amounted to sixteen millions. They 

* Muskets, 41, 500; rifles, 341,000; gun flints, 26,500; percussion caps, 
40,082,000; swords, 2,250. 

f Gun barrels, 23,870; rifles, 30,802; percussion caps, 3,105,000. 

j Mason Papers, Slidell to Mason, September 26, 1862. 

Mason Papers, Library of Congress. Benjamin to Mason, January 
15, 1863. Spence to Mason, February 3, 1863. Slidell to Mason, Feb- 


were sold at ninety pounds per hundred-pound bond; but 
the price rose at once to ninety-five, then rapidly fell to 
eighty-six, and so strong was tlie feeling tliat wlien settling 
day, April twenty-fourth, came they would not be worth 
more than eighty, that buyers ceased to appear. Alarmed 
by the downward trend Mason, Slidell and their bankers 
met in London and agreed that a million pounds sterling 
should be expended in buying back bonds in open market at 
the offering price, and by so doing raised the price to ninety- 
one. As settling day approached it became so evident that 
unless the buying went on, frightened subscribers would 
abandon the fifteen per cent paid at the time of subscribing 
and throw the bonds back on the hands of the bankers, that 
half a million pounds more were ordered to be expended in 
keeping up the price.* 

To Adams the success of the loan was most disheartening, 
The Confederates now had in England a great sum of 
money which could be used, and would be used, to build 
more rams and ironclads to break the blockade and, it might 
be, bombard Northern cities. In the midst of his despond- 
ency he received from Dudley a bundle of papers tending to 
prove that the Alexandra, then under construction at Liver- 
pool, was intended for the Confederate navy. Though Dud- 
ley knew it not, she was to be a gift from Frazer, Trenholra 
& Co. to the Confederate Government, and happening to be 
launched on the day whereon the future Princess of Wales 
entered London was called Alexandra.^ Adams at once sent 
the papers to Russell who with all possible speed laid them 
before the Crown lawyers* They advised she be seized, and 
one Sunday morning in early April, six days after Adams 
complained to Russell, an official from the Customhouse 
boarded the Alexandra and put a broad arrow on one of 
her masts. 

As she had not been delivered to Frazer, Trenholm & Co. 

ruary 3, 1863. Memminger to Spence, February 7, 1863. Slidelfto 
Mason, February 15, 1863. Mason to Benjamin, March. 19, 30, 1863. 

* Spence to Mason, April 3, 4, 1863. Slidell to Mason, April 5, 15, 
1863. Schroeder to Mason, April 17, 1863. 

f Bullocn to Mallory, June 30, 1863. Official Kecords, Navy, Series 
2, vol. ii, p. 447. 



she was still the property of the builders who wrote to their 
member of Parliament. They described the vessel, said she 
was built on speculation, which was untrue; that she was 
designed for use as a passenger boat, a mail boat, or a yacht, 
which was likewise untrue ; and expressed astonishment that 
while whole batteries of field pieces with carriages and 
equipment complete could be sold to known agents of the 
Federals, they could not build and finish an unarmed vessel 
because it was supposed it might, by resale, become the prop- 
erty of the Confederates. In due time the member from 
Liverpool, standing in his place, called the attention of the 
House to the seizure of the Alexandra, read the letter, and 
said that Mr. Laird had recently spoken of the shipment of 
arms for the Federal Government. Had any steps been, 
taken to stop this? If strict neutrality and non-interven- 
tion were to be maintained, why not stop shipments of arms 
to the Federals as well as the fitting out of vessels which it 
was supposed might become the property of the Confeder- 
ates? He held in his hand a customhouse return of ship- 
ments of arms from Liverpool for the United States Govern- 
ment by Brown, Shipley & Co. They were all between 
March twenty-fourth and April twenty-second.* But they 
had done more than this. Not only had they sent arms, but 
hands to use them. During the current year, up to the last 
day of March, twenty-four thousand eight hundred Irish 
laborers had left Liverpool for America. Between March 
thirty-first and April twenty-fourth, fourteen thousand six 
hundred and forty-eight had sailed. Many were recruits 
for the Northern army for their passage had been paid to 

The gentleman complains, said the Attorney-General, that 
while the Government was vigilant in seizing the Alexandra, 
it shut its eyes to other flagrant violations ; that shipments of 
arms to one belligerent or the other take place openly at 

* March 24 : 1,000,000 percussion caps ; March 25 : 870 bundles of gun 
"barrels; 4 tons rifle barrels; March 26: 10 cases of rifles; March 30: 774 
bundles of gun barrels; April 1: 8,100 bundles of gun barrels; April 9: 
21 tons of gun barrels; April 10: 20 cases 400 rifles; April 13: 36 tons 
of gun barrels; April 16: 150 bundles of gun barrels; April 22; 200 
cases of rifles. 


Liverpool, every day, and Government does not interfere. 
According to tlie principles of international law it is not the 
duty of a neutral Power to interfere with, shipments of arms 
and munitions by its subjects to a belligerent, nor does such 
supply and sale violate any provision of the Foreign Enlist- 
ment Act, nor any municipal law of the country. 

Seizure of the Alexandra caused great anxiety to the Con- 
federate agents in England and to Mallory at home. The 
two rams building for Bulloch by the Lairds were nearly 
ready to be launched. The ironclad frigate building at Glas- 
gow for Commander North was well under way. Could they 
ever be delivered to their owner ? Worth appealed to SlideU. 
to help him save his ship. He was advised to wait or seek 
a Hamburg house. Transfer to a French house would be 
costly. Bulloch took a different course. From the time the 
Alabama escaped he was sure no ship built undoubtedly for 
war purposes would ever get out of England unless owned by 
a neutral government. Again and again he expressed his 
fears to Mallory. I share your apprehension for our ships, 
said Mallory. Go to Paris, consult Mr. SlideU, after con- 
ferring with Mr. Mason, and arrange for the transfer of the 
vessels to a French owner and their equipment in a French 
port.* The visit was made, and Bravay & Co. of Paris 
agreed to buy the rams. They were to pay a nominal price, 
complete them, outfit them, and resell them to the Confed- 
eracy, beyond the jurisdiction of Great Britain, for a sum 
large enough to include a handsome commission, f When 
the first was launched on the fourth of July, 1863, both 
were the property of the French house which was to finish 
them, it was said, for the Pasha of Egypt. 

Late in June the ease of the Alexandra was tried in the 
Court of Exchequer before the Lord Chief Baron and a 
special jury. In closing his charge the Chief Baron said: 
the offense against which this information is directed, is 
"equipping, furnishing, fitting out, or arming." He had 
looked, so that he might not go wrong, at Webster's Amer- 

* Mallory to Bullock, March. 19, 1863. 

t Bullock to Mallory, June 30, 1863. Official Eecords, Navy, Series 
2, vol. ii, pp. 445-446. 


iean Dictionary. No one could complain that he referred to 
that. It appeared that "to equip," was to "furnish with 
arms." In his own opinion "equip," "furnish/' "fit out/ 7 
"arm/' meant precisely the same thing. The question then 
was : Did the jury think the Alexandra was fitted ? Armed 
she certainly was not; but was there an intention that she 
should he furnished, fitted or equipped at Liverpool ? 

"Gentlemen, if you think the object was to equip, furnish, 
fit out, or arm this vessel at Liverpool, then that is a suffi- 
cient matter. But if you think the object really was to build 
a ship in obedience to an order, and in compliance with a 
contract, leaving it to those who bought it to make what use 
they thought of it, then it appears to me that the Foreign 
Enlistment Act has not been in any degree broken." * 

The jury then returned a verdict acquitting the A lexamdra^ 
and the case went over to the Michaelmas Term some months 
later. With the long legal strife that followed we need not 
be concerned. The case was heard in the Court of Ex- 
chequer in November, 1863, and in the House of Lords in 
March, 1864 But all in vain. The Alexandra was ordered 
to be returned to her owners, was delivered to them and 
sailed for Halifax in July.f 

The Proclamation of Emancipation, the meetings of the 
anti-slavery people, the addresses of sympathy and congratu- 
lations they sent to Lincoln aroused the active friends of the 
South, in Parliament and out The time to bring pressure 
on the Government seemed to have come. The people must 
be informed concerning the war, the aims of the belligerents, 
the injury done to British industry and the suffering in- 
flicted on the workers in the cotton mills. During March 
and April, without any suggestion from the Confederate 
agents, societies known as Southern Clubs were formed at 
Manchester, Birmingham, and other cities, under the patron- 
age of men of standing and influence. Their object was, 
by speeches and publications to arouse a spirit of inquiry, 
and spread information about the war and the South. Pub- 
lic meetings were held under their auspices in the towns 

* Executive Documents, 38th. Congress, 1st Session, vol. i, p. 347, 
f Claims against Great Britain, vol. v, pp. 3-4=71. 


agad villages in the manufacturing districts, addresses were 
made by invited speakers, resolutions urging recognition 
were adopted, placards posted, and handbills circulated. 
Even Hotze lent a hand and wrote that he had "taken means 
to placard every available space in the streets of London with 
representations of our newly adopted flag with the British 
ensign." * 

At one such public gathering held in the open air in 
Paradise Square, Sheffield, the speaker was Mr. Roebuck, 
the member from that city, and when he had finished a reso- 
lution was adopted declaring that Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment would act wisely if it at once began negotiations with 
the great Powers of Europe to obtain the acknowledgment, 
by them, of the independence of the Confederate States of 
America, f 

Encouraged by the action of the Sheffield meeting, Roe- 
buck gave notice in the House of Commons that he would 
soon move an address requesting Her Majesty to enter into 
negotiations. June second he gave notice that he would 
bring on the motion on the thirtieth of that month. 

And now Anti-Slavery Societies, Emancipation Societies, 
religious bodies, churches, all opposed to slavery, became 
active, and petitions against recognition of the Confederacy 
came pouring into the Commons. They came from the 
clergy and laity of the Archdeaconry of Bath, from the 
parishes of Tresborough and Laxborough; the Congregation 
of Methodists, Milnroad; the Congregation of Wesleyan Re- 
formers, Derby; the Methodist Free Church, Preston; the 
Baptist Church, Walsall; from the Leeds Young Men ? s 
Anti-Slavery Society; and from the people of forty other 

While Roebuck waited for the time when he could make 
Ms motion he was met in the lobby one night by a friend 
who told htm of a rumor that the Emperor had changed his 
mind as to recognition, and that Palmerston would so state 
in the House. Greatly alarmed, Roebuck wrote to Lindsay, 
an ardent supporter of the South, saying, he had been told 

*Pickett Papers, Hotze, June 6, 1863. 
f London Times, May 23, 1863. 


that ITapeoleon thought it unwise to recognize the Confed- 
eracy at present; that Palmerston on June thirtieth would 
say that England thought the time for recognition had not 
arrived ; that France thought so too, and that any negotiation 
about the matter would then "be utterly out of place and 
impossible. Could we, he asked, do any good by going to 
Paris and seeing the Emperor ? The thirtieth was not far 
off, and it must be decided whether he should, or should 
not, bring on the motion standing in his name."* 

Slidell was at once sent a copy of this letter, saw the 
Emperor, and read a part of it. JTapoleon promised to 
bring the matter before the Cabinet. He was more con- 
vinced than ever of the wisdom of general recognition by 
European Powers ; but the commerce of France and success 
of the Mexican Expedition would be jeopardized by a rup- 
ture with the United States. ISTo Power but England had a 
navy large enough to aid effectively in a war on the ocean. 
Slidell replied that recognition by the Powers, or by France 
alone, would not lead to war. He could in any event count 
on Spain, Austria, Prussia, Holland, Sweden, Denmark. 
USTone of them, said the Emperor, has a navy of any con- 
sequence. Slidell replied lie had authority to give the ad- 
hesion of the Confederacy to the tripartite treaty guarantee- 
ing Cuba to Spain. Because of this, Spain, if assured of 
the concurrence of France, might take the lead in recogni- 
tion. Would the Emperor give such concurrence? He 
would. Could Slidell say so to the Spanish Ambassador? 
Yes. Would the Emperor see Koebuck and Lindsay ? Yes. 
He would do more, he would make a direct proposal to Eng- 
land for joint recognition and bring the matter before the 
Cabinet that very day.f 

His friend in the Foreign Office now informed Slidell that 
the Cabinet thought it not wise to make a proposition to 
London, but, as a middle course, to deny the rumor falsely 
attributing to France a change of sentiment and a policy less 
favorable to the South; remind the English cabinet that 
France had often made propositions which were not wel- 

*Pickett Papers, Boelbuck to Lindsay, June 13, 1863. 
f Ibid., SKdeU, June 21, 1863. 


corned; declare France would "be glad to act, and say she 
would receive any overtures.* 

On Ms return from the interview, Roebuck, full of the 
importance of his mission, moved in the House of Com- 
mons an humble address praying that Her Majesty would 
be graciously pleased to enter into negotiations with the great 
Powers of Europe for the purpose of obtaining their co- 
operation in the recognition of the Confederate States of 
America. In a long speech he described his visit and stated 
that "the Emperor of the Erench said, and he gave me 
authority to repeat it here, 'I gave instructions to my Am- 
bassador to say that my feeling was, not indeed, exactly the 
same as it had been, because it was stronger than ever, in 
favor of recognizing the South. I told him also to lay 
before the British Government my understanding and my 
wishes on this question, and to ask them still again whether 
they would be willing to join me in that recognition.' USTow, 
Sir, there is no mistake about this matter. I pledge my 
veracity that the Emperor of the Erench told me that. 7 ' 
And more than that, Roebuck continued, "I laid before His 
Majesty two courses of conduct. I said: 'Your Majesty may 
make a formal application to England. 7 He stopped me and 
said: 'itfo, I can't do that, and I will tell you why. Some 
months ago I did make a formal application to England. 
England sent my dispatch to America. That dispatch get- 
ting into Mr. Seward's hands was shown to my Ambassador 
at Washington. It came back to me, and I feel that I was 
ill treated by such conduct. 7 7; 

Sir George Grey denied this. He did not doubt Mr. Roe- 
buck's veracity, but nothing of the sort he described had 
occurred with reference to the Emperor's dispatches. Lord 
Russell likewise denied it in the House of Lords, The de- 
bate was adjourned to July second and was not then re- 
sumed. But Mr. Eorster inquired if the Emperor of the 
Erench had, as Mr. Roebuck stated, made application touch- 
ing mediation in America. Mr. Layard replied: "I repeat, 
without equivocation, in the broad sense of the word, that 
no such communication has up to this time been made.' 7 

*Pickett Papers, Slidell, June 21, 1863. 



And now, at last, the Government at Kichmond became 
convinced that the objects of the mission had not been 
obtained. Perusal of recent debates in Parliament satisfy 
the President, Secretary Benjamin wrote, that Her Maj- 
esty's Government has determined to decline the overtures 
made by you, for establishing friendly relations through a 
treaty of amity and commerce, and never intends to receive 
you as the accredited Minister from the Confederate States. 
Therefore his continuance in London was neither conducive 
to the interests, nor consistent with the dignity of the Con- 
federate States of America, and the President requested him 
to consider his mission at an end and withdraw at once from 

Thus instructed he promptly made known his recall to 
Eussell, quoted the reasons given by Benjamin, and was 
told in reply: "I have on other occasions explained to you 
the reasons which have induced Her Majesty's Government 
to decline the overtures alluded to, and the motives which 
have hitherto prevented the British Court from recognizing 
you as the accredited Minister of an established State. 
These reasons are still in force, and it is not necessary to 
repeat them." f Mason at once retired to Paris and was 
soon commissioned to represent the Confederate States at 
the Courts of such European Powers as President Davis 
might direct 

The bitterness against Great Britain now felt by Benjamin 
was expressed in a letter to Hotze. The course of the 
British Government had been marked by such complacent 
deference for the enemy, he said, that it had become almost 
as hostile to the South as if it were in alliance with the 
United States. Because of fear of war with the United 
States Her Majesty's Government had refused to recognize 
the Confederacy; countenanced and respected a blockade 
known to be invalid; protected Federal commerce by shut- 
ting British ports to Confederate prizes; started prosecu- 
tions against British subjects to prevent the sale of vessels to 
the South; submitted to insulting violations of her neutral 

*Pickett Papers, Benjamin to Mason, August 4, 1863, 
t Ibid., Russell to Mason, September 25, 1863. 


rights, and allowed the Insolent aggression of the Yankees to 
deprive Lancashire of bread and paralyze the most lucrative 
branch of British manufacturers. And all this to avoid war 
with the United States. Had she joined hands with France 
and recognized the independence of the Confederate States, 
the contest would at once have ended.* 

The launch of the first of the Laird rams on the fourth 
of July, was quickly followed by a letter from Consul Dud- 
ley enclosing several depositions, which Adams made the 
occasion for another note to Russell. 

But the Collector at Liverpool wrote Eussell that the rams 
were not built for the Confederates, but for Frenchmen who 
first contracted for them.f The Law Officers of the Crown 
were clearly of opinion that the evidence in the depositions 
was mostly hearsay, and that Her Majesty's Government 
ought not to detain, or in any way interfere with, the steam 
vessels in question. $ Dudley now reported that the ram had 
her masts up, machinery on board, was shipping her turrets, 
and could no doubt in a week's time be ready for sea. 
Adams sent more evidence of Confederate ownership. Rus- 
sell telegraphed to the British Ambassador at Paris asking 
if the rams were for the French Government. The Ambas- 
sador replied they were not. Dayton wrote Dudley that 
Drouyn de L'liuys assured him that neither the Emperor, 
the Minister of Marine, the Minister of Finance, nor the 
French Consul at Liverpool knew anything of such a claim ; 
that the French Government had no interest in. any such 
vessel or ram, and that the Consul at Liverpool had never 
made such a claim. || An officer of the Royal Navy visited 
Brevay and offered to buy the rams. He declined to sell 
The British Consul-General at Cairo reported that the 
Viceroy of Egypt denied all connection with the rams. As 
August ended the second ram was launched, and September 

* Pickett Papers, Benjamin to Hotze, September 19, 1863. 
f July 8, 1863. 
$ July 24, 1863. 

Executive Documents, 38th Congress, 1st Session, vol. i, p. 398, 
August 7, 1863. 

|) Dayton to Dudley, August IT, 1863, Dudley MSS. 



first Russell, then in Scotland, wrote Adams that Her Maj- 
esty's Government could not In any way interfere with them, 
but they would be watched. Assured by Dudley that one 
was about to sail, assured by Kussell that Government could 
see no way to prevent it, Adams abandoned all hope of avoid- 
ing war, for he had on file a letter from Seward telling just 
what would happen if Great Britain continued to allow rebel 
ships to escape. He wrote it after hearing of the verdict in 
the Alexandra case and said: if the rulings of the Chief 
Baron are affirmed and acted on, it is right that you should 
know, and be able to communicate to Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment, what the President thinks should be done in that 
contingency. If the law of Great Britain must be left with- 
out amendment, and be construed by the Government * in 
conformity with the rulings of the Chief Baron of the Ex- 
chequer, then must the United States protect themselves and 
their commerce, against armed cruisers proceeding from 
British ports as against the naval force of a public enemy. 
To this end the Government is preparing a naval force with 
the utmost vigor, and if it shall not be sufficient for the 
emergency, then must the United States use such private 
armed ships as the mercantile marine shall afford. British 
ports are now open, under certain restrictions, to the visits 
of piratical vessels, and not only furnish them coal, pro- 
visions and repairs, but even receive their prisoners. Could 
it be a matter of surprise, or a subject of complaint, if this 
state of things continue, that the navy of the United States 
receive instructions to pursue their enemies into the ports 
which thus, in violation of the law of nations and the obliga- 
tions of neutrality, become harbors for the pirates? The 
President very distinctly foresees the risks and hazards which 
a naval conflict thus maintained will bring to the commerce, 
to the peace of the two nations. But he is forced to consider 
that in the case supposed, the destruction of our commerce 
will probably amount to a naval war waged by a portion of 
the British nation against the Government and people of 
the United States, a war tolerated, though not avowed, by 
the Government of Great Britain. If such a partial war 
should become a general war between the two nations, the 


President believed the responsibility would not fall on the 
United States.* 

The question Adams had now to decide was, whether he 
should lay these instructions before Kussell, or suppress 
them and make one more effort to maintain peace. He de- 
cided to suppress them, and September fifth wrote: "At 
this moment, when one of the ironclad vessels is on the point 
of departure from this Kingdom on its hostile errand against 
the United States, I am honored with the reply of your 
Lordship to my notes. ... I trust I need not express how 
profound is my regret at the conclusion to which Her Maj- 
esty's Government has arrived. I can regard it no otherwise 
than as practically opening to the insurgents free liberty in 
this Kingdom to execute a policy described in one of their 
late publications in the following language." The news- 
paper from which he quoted said that in the present state of 
the harbor defenses of ISTew Tort, Boston, Portland and the 
smaller cities on the coast such a vessel as the British iron- 
clad Warrior could enter any of them and strike the enemy 
a vital blow. The destruction of Boston alone would be 
worth a thousand victories in the field, would terrify the 
blue noses, make them wish eagerly for peace, raise the 
blockade of Southern ports and soon repay the cost of build- 
ing. Continuing, Adams said: "It would be superfluous 
for me to point out to your Lordship that this is war. . . . 
It is my belief it is impossible that any nation, retaining a 
proper degree of self-respect, could tamely submit to a con- 
tinuance of relations so utterly deficient in reciprocity. . . . 
Under these circumstances I prefer to desist from com- 
municating to your Lordship even such further portions of 
my ecsdsting instructions as are suited to the case, lest I 
should contribute to aggravate difficulties already too se- 
rious." f 

Had Adams waited four and twenty hours, his letter, in 
all probability, would never have been written, for, all un~ 

*Seward to Adams, July 11, 1863. Executive Documents, 38th 
Congress, 1st Session, vol. i, pp, 356, 357, 

t Adams to Russell, September 5, 1863. Executive Documents, 38th 
Congress, 1st Session, vol. i, pp. 418, 419, 


known to him Russell was making good Ms promise to- watch 
the rams. September first, by his order, the Lords Com- 
missioners of the Treasury were informed that so much 
suspicion attached to the rams that if evidence could be 
obtained to show that they were intended for the Confederate 
States they ought to be detained for further examination. 
On the third he wrote Palmerston that the conduct of the 
gentlemen who had contracted for the rams was so very 
suspicious that he had directed that they "be detained.* On 
the fifth the Commissioner of Customs at Liverpool was 
ordered not to allow them to leave the Mersey, f When the 
Lairds wished to take El Tousson., one of the rams, on a trial 
trip, they were forbidden to do it unless Admiral Dacres 
was allowed to put on board a force of sailors sufficient 
to prevent capture. Most of the crew of the Alabama 
were then in Liverpool where their presence gave rise to 
the fear that they might be used to seize her. So real was 
the fear that in October the Broad Arrow was put on both 
rams, and, taken from the graving dock into the Mersey, 
they were anchored under the guns of the Majestic. Palm- 
erston was in favor of buying the rams and wrote the Duke 
of Somerset advising him to do so. J Russell also wrote, 
and some months later the Admiralty bought them for two 
hundred and twenty thousand pounds sterling. "If one iron- 
clad ram may go from Liverpool to break the blockade, why 
not twenty ?" Russell asked Sir George Grrey: "And what 
is this but war ? If ten line of battle ships had gone from' 
New York to break the blockade of Brest during the late 
war, do you think we should have borne it?" || 

The rams in Bordeaux were now causing trouble to 
France. In September a stranger came to our consulate at 

* Seizure of the Laird Hams. Brooks Adams, Massachusetts His- 
torical Society Proceedings, Second Series, vol. xiii, p. 295. Walpole's 
Life of Lord Russell, vol. ii, p. 359. 

t Claims of the United States against Great Britain, vol. ii, p. 363, 
Ibid., p. 262. September 19, 1863. 

| Palmerston to Eussell, September 13, 1863. The Later Corre- 
spondence of Lord John Russell, vol. ii, p. 334. 

Russell to Somerset, September 14, 1863. Ibid., p. 335. 

|| Russell to Sir G. Grey, September 19, 1863. Ibid,, p. 335. 



Paris and amazed Mr. John Blgelow "by stating that, to his 
certain knowledge, wooden and iron plated vessels for the 
Confederates were building at Bordeaux and Nantes^ Re- 
minded that no warship could be built in France without 
consent of the Emperor, he answered that authority to build, 
equip and arm has been issued by the Department of Marine. 
Asked what proof of this he could furnish, he placed in the 
hands of the Consul letters and documents proving, beyond 
a doubt, the truth of his statement. He even offered to bring 
more on the morrow, provided, when they had defeated the 
naval operations of the Confederates, he should receive 
twenty thousand francs.* The papers were copies or origi- 
nals, bore the names of Bulloch, Annan, Erlanger, Slidell, 
and 'the Minister of Marine, were delivered to Mr. Dayton, 
our Minister to France, and by him laid before Diouyn de 
L'Huys. He disclaimed all knowledge of the vessels, was 
greatly surprised, asked for copies, and gave assurance that 
neutrality would be maintained, f The Minister of Marine 
explained that he had trusted the assurances of Annan and 
Voruz that the vessels were for the China Seas, and the 
Paciic, had signed the license as a matter of course, did not 
feel responsible for any unlawful operations which might be 
undertaken, and would call for an explanation, t The license 
to arm was revoked, but the building was not stopped. 
Whether they would ever leave France, Bulloch believed, 
would depend on the state of affairs in America, when they 
were finished. If, said he, our cause is then ascendant, local 
authorities will be instructed not to be too inquisitive and 
the ships will sail. If the Federal cause prospers they will 
be turned over to the responsible Ministers of the Empire 
who will justify their claim to American gratitude by strict 
enforcement of the neutrality of France. H 

Napoleon in his speech to the Chambers, in November, 

* John Bigelow, France and the Confederate Navy, pp. 1-17. 

t Dayton to Seward, September 18, 1863. Executive Documents, 
38th Congress, 1st Session, vol. ii, p. 773. 

tlbid., pp. 794, 795. 

Ibid., pp. 797, 798, 800. 

|| Bulloch, Secret Service of the Confederate States in Europe, vol. ii, 
pp. 40-41. 

1863 THE FRENCH RAMS. 355 

said not a word on affairs in America. Inquiry led Slidell 
to believe that the Emperor said nothing because he could 
not say what he was willing to do in cooperation with Great 
Britain, without contrasting his policy with hers ? and throw- 
ing on her responsibility for the lingering war in America. 
Rather than indulge in common places about the length of 
the war and the blood that had been shed he preferred to be 
silent. Nevertheless, Slidell was anxious, and a few days 
after the speech wrote STapoleon. Confident assertion, he 
said, by agents of the Washington Government, and certain 
remarks by the Minister of Marine, made him apprehensive 
that, without consulting His Majesty, orders might be given 
that would stop the completion and arming of the ships of 
war building at Bordeaux and Nantes for the Confederate 
States. Undoubtedly His Majesty, when aware of the pos- 
sibility of such interference, would take the necessary steps 
to prevent It. Slidell had no access to the Minister of Marine 
and did not feel authorized to state to the Minister of 
Foreign Affairs the circumstances under which the building 
of the ships was begun. This was his reason for taking the 
liberty to address His Majesty.* 

Drouyn de L'Huys sent for him at once and said what had 
passed at the meeting with the Emperor was confidential 
France could not be forced into a war by indirection. When 
prepared to act it would be openly, f Slidell replied that 
the idea originated with the Emperor, was carried out with 
his knowledge and invitation, and the promise must be kept. 
The Minister drew a broad distinction between the cor- 
vettes and the ironclads saying, that with precaution the 
corvettes might, perhaps, be allowed to go to sea; but to 
allow the ironclads intended for warlike purposes, and for 
nothing else, to go to sea, in spite of the remonstrances by 
the Washington Government and in violation of the Em- 
peror's declaration of neutrality, would be an overt act 
of war. 

This was indeed disheartening; but news which now 

* Pickett Papers. Slidell, Note to a Person of Distinction, November 
15, 1863. 
flbid., Slidell, November 15, 1863. 


leached him was more so. Mr. Dayton was in possession of 
letters and documents showing that certain vessels building 
at Bordeaux and Nantes belonged to the Confederate States. 
A confidential clerk in the employ of one of the builders 
had absconded carrying off the papers of which he was cus- 
todian.* So far as the corvettes were concerned full evi- 
dence of ownership was undoubtedly in the hands of the 
enemy, f Mason, Bulloch and Slidell now met and considered 
what should be done. They decided to get rid of the vessels, 
and early in February Bravay was directed to sell, to some 
foreign government, the two in England, $ and Arman the 
corvettes building at Bordeaux. One of the rams was sold 
to Denmark. The other and the two corvettes at Bordeaux 
were bought by Prussia, and those at Nantes by Peru. 

Almost every month some phase of our relations with 
Great Britain came before Parliament. Now it was the 
correspondence concerning the Alabama \\ and Alexandra, f 
Now it was a motion for a return of claims made by British 
subjects on the Government of the United States, and of 
claims made by the United States on Great Britain for 
damages done to American ships by Confederate cruisers.** 
Now it was enlistment of Irish immigrants in the Union 
Army.ff Now it was the detention of the Tuscaloosa at 
St. Simon's Bay. $$ Finally, it was the case of the rebel 
cruiser Georgia. Built at Dumbarton, and known as the 
Japan, registered in the name of a member of a firm of 
Liverpool merchants, entered for a voyage to Point de Galle 
and Hong Kong, she left Greenock one day in April, 1863, 
with her owner on board, to test her engines, and never re- 
turned to port. On the day she steamed away her registry 
was British, her owner was British, her equipment was 

*Pickett Papers, Slidell, November 19, 1863. 
f Ibid., February 16, 1864. 

$ Official Records, Navy, Series 2, vol. ii, p. 586. 
Ibid., p. 590, February 8, 1864. 

|| House of Lords, February 9, 1864. Hansard's Parliamentary De- 
bates, vol. clxxiii, pp. 310-311. 

If House of Commons, February 9, 1864. Ibid., p. 323. 
** House of Lords, February 16, 1864. Ibid., pp. 618-635. 
ft House of Lords, April 5, 1864. Ibid., pp. 448-450. 
$$ House of Lords, April 26, 1864. Ibid., pp. 1595-1617. 


Britisli, her crew was British, and she carried the British 
merchant flag. From G-reenock she made for the coast of 
France, and off ITshant was met by another British vessel 
bringing guns, shot, shell, powder, warlike supplies. When 
these were aboard her true character was made known, the 
Confederate Commission was read, the Confederate flag 
raised, and her name changed to the Georgia. The ship 
which brought the guns returned to Plymouth with the 
owner, and fifteen of the crew of the Japan who refused 
to enter the service of the Confederate States. 

Having delivered her to the Confederate authorities her 
old owner might well have canceled her registry. But not 
until late in June did he inform the Customhouse and re- 
quest that her registry be canceled. By that time the 
Georgia had captured and burned three vessels and bonded 
a fourth. Three more were destroyed before, late in Octo- 
ber, she entered the harbor of Cherbourg "almost broken 
down.' 7 It was finally decided to sell her. The Liverpool 
merchants who had provided her outfit and had all along 
paid the crew sent over some twenty English sailors and 
early in May, 1864, the Georgia arrived in Liverpool for 

Her arrival was at once brought to the attention of the 
House of Commons by Mr. Baring. Here, said he, is the 
case of a vessel clandestinely built, fraudulently leaving the 
port of her construction, taking Englishmen on board as her 
crew, and waging war against the United States, an ally of 
ours, without having once entered a port of the power whose 
commission she bears, and having been for some time the 
property of an English subject. He had no fault to find 
with the Government. It was not their conduct, but the 
impotency of the Foreign Enlistment Act that he wished to 
bring under the notice of the House. He then argued at 
length to prove that this Act ought to be so amended that the 
international obligations of the Government could be carried 
fully into effect, and vessels such as the Alabama and the 
Georgia prevented from leaving port. 

* Barren to Mallory, May 4, 1864, Official Records, Navy, Series 2, 
vol. ii, p. 650. 


The Attorney-General in a long argument maintained that 
the Foreign Enlistment Act needed no amendment. It was 
all-sufficient as it stood. lie hoped no changes would be 
made in the Foreign Enlistment Act until the House was 
convinced they were absolutely necessary. That the Georgia, 
was cruising, burning, destroying vessels while still a British 
ship was not true. A ship which has a British register and 
is transferred to a foreign belligerent power, cannot, he said, 
from the mere fact of her remaining registered in England 
be justly styled a British ship. "The register is nothing but 
the evidence of the title of a British owner for a municipal 
purpose in this country." But it was held that she had 
never been in any of the ports of the belligerent whose flag 
she bore, and so had never acquired the character of a 
belligerent ship of war. To say that a country whose ports 
are blockaded cannot avail herself of all the resources at 
her command in other ports of the world, may not buy ships 
in neutral territory and commission them as ships of war 
without first bringing them into her ports was quite pre- 
posterous, and all arguments founded on such a doctrine 
tended only to throw dust in men's eyes and to mislead them. 
The Attorney-General, said Cobden, has made a long 
argument to prove that the law as it stands is sufficient to 
prevent a breach of our neutrality. What is the fact ? You 
have been carrying on hostilities from these shores against 
the United States and have inflicted on that country damage 
greater than would be produced by any ordinary war. The 
loss by capture and by burning of American ships is esti- 
mated at fifteen million dollars, and is but a small part of 
the injury clone to the American marine. For the quarter 
ending on the last day of June, 1860, the foreign trade of 
New York City amounted to ninety-two millions of dollars, 
of which sixty-two millions were carried in American bot- 
toms. During the quarter ending June thirtieth, 1863, the 
foreign trade amounted to eighty-eight millions, of which 
sixty-five millions were carried in foreign bottoms. In 1858 
thirty-three vessels were transferred from the American to 
the British flag; in 1859, forty-nine vessels; in 1860, forty- 
one. Then the number began to increase rapidly and in 



1861 one hundred and twenty-six; in 1862, one kindred and 
thirty-five; in 1863, three hundred and forty-eight vessels, 
in all three hundred and eighty-nine thousand tons were 
transferred to British capitalists. Had you, said he, helped 
the Confederates by bombarding all the accessible seaports 
in the North, you could hardly have destroyed more property 
than you have by the Florida, the Alabama, and the Georgia. 

Debate on the presence of the Georgia at Liverpool had 
scarcely quieted down when Lindsay made preparations to 
again bring forward a motion for an offer of mediation. It 
was to be made early in June and was to be in these words, 
"That the House of Commons, deeply regretting the great 
loss of life and suffering of the people of the United States 
and ^ of the Confederate States of North America by the 
continuance of the war which has been so long waged between 
them, trust that Her Majesty's Government will avail itself 
of the earliest opportunity of mediation, in conjunction with 
the other Powers of Europe to bring about a cessation of 
hostilities." Before doing so he consulted Lord Palmerston. 
He approved. Lindsay then asked if he would talk with 
Mason as a private gentleman. To this he agreed, and sug- 
gested his house in Piccadilly as the place of meeting.' 51 ' 
Mason refused to go. I am not, said he, in a position to 
yield to your invitation to an interview with Lord Palmers- 
ton, and chiefly because you desired it. After the persistent 
refusal of Her Majesty's Government to recognize, in any 
form, the Government of the Confederate States, I was di- 
rected by the President to consider my mission to England 
at an end, and leave London. Later instructions bade me 
never again approach the British Government, even in the 
most informal manner, without some intimation of its will- 
ingness to enter into official relations with my own. Had 
the invitation originated with his Lordship, I might have 
accepted it. But, as it had only the form of his assent to a 
proposition from you, I must with all respect decline itf 

When Mason's letter was read to Palmerston he declared 
he could not think of inviting him to come from Paris, but 

* Lindsay to Mason, May 27, 1864, Mason Papers, 
t Mason to Lindsay, Paris, May 29, 1863. Ibid. 


If in London would be glad to see him and hear what he had 
to say on the present state of affairs; could not see how 
recognition would end the war unless the blockade was 
raised; thought the North was becoming more and more 
alive to the fact that subjugation of the South was impos- 
sible, and that the motion might with advantage be post- 
poned.* Mr. Spence now wrote that it was the unanimous 
desire of the Committee that Mason should see Palmerston. 
He leaned towards the South, but hesitated and was unset- 
tled. A talk might turn the scale, f 

The committee which thought Mason should try to turn 
the scale consisted of the most active members of "The So- 
ciety for Obtaining the Cessation of Hostilities in America." 
Among its members were men who sat in the House of 
lords, and in the House of Commons, rectors of country 
parishes and laymen of distinction. Its object was to im- 
press on Parliament and on the Premier the strong feeling in 
the country that the Government should, use its good offices 
to end the war in America; and do so by petitions to the 
Lords and Commons and so make ready the way for Lind- 
say's motion. A great number of petitions was easily ob- 
tained, and presented, and this clone, an audience was sought 
with Palmerston. The result of it all was that Lindsay 
gave notice of his intended motion, that Mason came over 
from Paris, and both he and a deputation from the Society 
visited the Prime Minister. 

The spokesman of the delegation declared there was good 
ground for saying that Her Majesty's Government should 
use its friendly relations with the Federal Government to 
bring about a cessation of hostilities. The very large number 
of letters the Society had received from rectors of parishes 
reflecting the state of feeling in the country districts proved 
it. The petitions presented to Parliament from eighteen 
counties in England, from eight in Ireland, from Water- 
ford, Galway, Dublin, Cork and Tipperary proved it. The 
tone of feeling and conversation in social circles, in meetings, 
and leaders in the press proved it. Believing the restoration 

* Lindsay to Mason, May 30, 1864. Mason Papers, 
t Spence to Mason, May 31, 1864. Ibid. 


of the Union to be impossible; believing the independence of 
the Confederate States to be a fait accompli, they believed f 
prolongation of the war could only result in slaughter. 
There is, said Lord Palmerston, an old couplet: 

They who in quarrels interpose 
Will often wipe a Woody nose. 

He did not fear a bloody nose ? but did fear premature 
efforts would serve but to exasperate the North, make it 
more difficult when passion had calmed down to effect the 
object all must have in view. Each party was sure of suc- 
cess and the North especially jealous of interference. If, at 
any time in the future reasonable grounds could be shown 
for supposing friendly suggestions would be heard, Her 
Majesty's Government would be happy to use their efforts 
to bring about an end to their unhappy war.* All of which 
means, said the London Times, that the Premier will support 
such an effort at a more opportune moment, that is to say 
when Grant and Sherman are defeated and the Confederacy 
stands in no need of recognition.! 

Lindsay's motion was not called up, and in the last days 
of the session he was forced to content himself with asking 
the First Lord of the Treasury "if, considering the great sac- 
rifice of life and property, occasioned by the war still raging 
between the United States of America and the Confederate 
States, and considering the loss the people of this country 
have suffered by the war, it is the intention of Her Majesty's 
Government, in concert with the other Powers of Europe, 
to use their endeavors to bring about a suspension of hos- 
tilities ?" Lord Palmerston answered and said he could 
assure his honorable friend that Her Majesty's Government 
deeply laments the great sacrifice of life and property in 
America, and the distress which that war has produced in 
this country; but they had not thought that in the present 
state of things any advantage was to be gained by entering 
into concert with any other Power for the purpose of pro- 

* London Times, July 16, 1864. 
t Ibid. 


posing or offering mediation, or of negotiating with the Gov- 
ernment of tike United States ; or of the Confederate States, 
to bring about a termination of this unhappy war/* 

More than once ; in the course of the debates in Parlia- 
ment, members had charged the "United States with raising 
recruits in Ireland ; and cited in evidence the great number 
of emigrants that crowded every ship that sailed for N"ew 
York Hard times and poor crops had caused severe distress, 
and this, combined with stories of scarcity of labor, high 
wages and great bounties, sent tens of thousands of young 
Irishmen across the sea. In the opinion of all friends of 
the South in Great Britain, this migration was the work 
of Federal agents who induced able-bodied young men to go 
to New York that they might be tempted to enlist in the 
Union army. Russell thought so and over and over again: 
complained to Adams that bounty money in large sums was 
offered by agents of the United States to induce British 
subjects to enlist in its armies; that the United States was 
systematically, and in defiance of that comity of nations it 
was its duty to observe, luring subjects of Her Majesty to 
enlist in its armies ; that it was notorious that large bounties 
had been given to British subjects residing in the United 
States to engage in the war on the Federal side ; that twelve 
hundred and seventy-eight strong, active young men had left 
Queenstown within a fortnight and eight hundred were 
booked to follow; that they were intended for the army of 
the United States could not be doubted, f Again and again 
Adams denied that agents of the United States were seeking 
recruits, and declared he was authorized by his Government 
to deny the charge. Scarcity of labor, high wages, distress of 
the people of Ireland, explained the migration. Railroads 
in the United States were seeking alien labor because of the 
liability of the men in their employ to be drafted, $ 

Benjamin instructed Mason to report on this charge of 

* July 25, 1864, Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, vol. clxxvi, p. 

f Claims of the United States against Great Britain, vol. ii. pp. 396, 
398, 401, 403-404, 405. 

| Ibid., pp. 396, 400, 402, 405, 406, 407, 413, 414, 415. 


recruiting in Ireland. Great numbers, he found, had gone 
from Liverpool. Their passages had been paid, and from 
this he inferred they were for military service although 
they were engaged to work on railroads or on farms. De- 
tectives employed by him could find nothing on which to base 
a representation to the British O-overjunent^ De Leon 
visited Ireland and sought the aid of men powerful in the 
press and in the pulpit to stop this "crimping" under pre- 
tense of employment on Northern railroads,f Lieutenant 
Capston was sent over by Benjamin to stop migration by 
informing young Irishmen of the awful fate that awaited 
those who went to ISTew York, secured the support of the 
editors of several newspapers and of the Catholic clergy, and 
circulated among the priests a "large number" of copies of 
a poster. $ It bore the heading "Caution to Emigrants/' and 
in large display type were the statements "Persecution of 
Catholics in America," "The Tabernacle Overthrown! 7 ' 
"The Blessed Host scattered on the ground !" "Benediction 
Veil Made a Horse Cover of !" "All the Sacred Vessels car- 
ried off !" "The Monuments of the Dead Defaced !" "Th 
Priest imprisoned and afterwards exposed on an island to 
alligators and snakes!" 

These, and similar outrages, said Capston, unparalleled 
in history, have been committed on Catholics by Massachu- 
setts soldiers in the State of Louisiana. Let Irishmen re- 
member the Know Nothing Party, that child of Orangemen, 
now prevailing all over the United States, and how some 
years ago its followers entered the Convents and insulted the 
Nuns at their devotions. In the United States the writ of 
habeas corpus,, he asserted, was suspended. The old home 
of liberty had become the headquarters of military despot- 
ism. The Great Kepublic of the West no longer existed. 

Capston was followed by Father John Brannon. Ben- 
jamin sent him out to enlighten his fellow-countrymen as 
to the true purpose of the South, and show them how shock- 

* Mason Papers, Mason to Benjamin, June 14, 1863. 

f Intercepted dispatch, De Leon to Benjamin, September 30, 1863. 

$Pickett Papers, Capston, October 1, 1863. 

Pickett Papers. 


ing to humanity was the conduct of those who left a foreign 
soil to steep their hands in the blood of a people that had 
always received the Irish immigrants with kindness and 
hospitality. Advices from the North made it certain that 
the Federal Government was about to make fresh efforts to 
induce the Irish laborer to emigrate to New York. They 
were told they would be employed as builders of railroads. 
But the real object of the Lincoln government was to lure 
them into the Federal army. Therefore it was thought 
prudent to send Father Brannon in addition to such special 
agents as were in Ireland on the same errand. 1 * In due time 
he reached Dublin, and put up at the Angel Hotel, because 
it was frequented by middle-class Irish farmers who came to 
the near-by market at Smithfield, and was the resort of 
country priests who from time to time came to Dublin. 
These he questioned as to the origin, the cause of the great 
migration. Some said failure of the crops in 1861 and 
1862; others thought that, independent of any efforts the 
Federal Government might make, the presence of so many 
relatives in the Northern states was enough to cause the 
stream of emigrants and draw it thither. So powerful was 
this cause that every effort made to stem the current had 
been in vain.f 

Finding bishops, priests, newspapers and politicians 
powerless, Brannon determined to try what he could do, 
obtained the use of the columns of The Nation, and had 
printed two thousand copies of a handbill. In Queenstown 
and Galway copies were to be distributed among emigrants 
aboard ships before sailing, and among young and able- 
bodied would-be emigrants as soon as they arrived in town. 
At least two copies were to be posted in each boarding-house 
in which it was customary for those about to emigrate to 
lodge. $ 

As the new year opened three thousand parish priests 
received a circular and several copies of an "Address to the 
Catholic Clergy and People of Ireland." If each priest, the 

* Pickwick Papers, Benjamin to Hotze, September 5, 1863. 
f Ibid., Brannon, November 17, 1863. 
i Ibid., December 15, 1863. 


circular said, would post a copy near the church, he would 
help to counteract the malign influence of Yankee agents 
busy misinforming, deceiving, luring, the too-credulous youth 
of Ireland into the Yankee army to fight against their fel- 
low-countrymen in the Southern ranks. The address covered 
a six-column newspaper sheet On your arrival at New 
York, Brannon said, "To Young Irishmen, 7 ' you will at once 
be urged to enlist in the Federal Army and fight for the 
restoration of the Union and the liberation of the negro. 
How will the liberation of the negro so benefit you or yours 
at home, that you should risk your life for his freedom? 
How will the restoration of the Union so benefit you that 
you should sell yourself for a few pounds in hand to the 
men who would raise themselves to military rank, pay, and 
promotion, by making your dead body the stepping stone to 
their ambition? As Catholics and Irishmen what do you 
owe to the Union ? To the old Union which from the days 
of Washington throve and flourished under the guidance of 
honorable Southern gentlemen, Irishmen and Catholics owed 
the gift of citizenship. To the new Union, party at present 
ruling, they owed the burning of Catholic churches in 
Chariest-own and Philadelphia, the shooting down of Catho- 
lics in the streets of Brooklyn, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Louis- 
ville and St. Louis in 1854, and the violation of churches in 
Missouri, Mississippi, Virginia, Louisiana and -Florida by 
Union soldiers since the war began. Who are the men of 
the North? he asked. Eoundheads or Cromwellians who, 
having fled on the restoration of the Stuarts, were driven 
from every city of the Netherlands and forced to seek refuge 
in America. By these Cromwellians the New England 
States were settled. From these Puritans the Yankees are 
exclusively descended. Who are the men of the South? 
They are descended from Spanish Catholics who settled 
Florida, the Gulf Coast and Mexico; from French Catho- 
lics who settled in old Louisiana, and on both sides of the 
Mississippi Eiver from its mouth to that of the Missouri; 
from Irish Catholic settlers in Maryland and Kentucky, and 
from the sons of Cavaliers who settled Virginia. 

Within the last six months, said Seward, one hundred 


and fifteen thousand persons have thrown off allegiance to 
foreign countries and become citizens of the United States. 
A ' few, perhaps a hundred, after arriving in the United 
States, and after having enlisted in the military service, 
and after having taken the bounty paid to all alike have 
repented their acts and complained to the British Minister 
and consuls, not that they had been forced into the army, 
but had been circumvented, not by agents of the Govern- 
ment, but by corrupt men, often their own countrymen, 
acting from mercenary motives, and in violation of the 
laws of the United States. Every representation has been 
received with respect, and investigated under orders reach- 
ing to the camps scattered throughout the land, and careful 
reports thereon made while the armies were in the field, 
on the march or lying in siege. In a few instances where 
complaints were well founded, all possible redress has been 
made. On the other hand the mass of European emigrants, 
not sensibly lessened by the abstraction of a few recruits, 
scattered as soon as they reached our shores and might be 
found prosperously and happily employed in our marts, 
our wheat fields, our factories, our forests and our mines, or 
if they so wished, in the army and the navy now maintain- 
ing the integrity and freedom of the country which they have 
adopted as their own. This immigration had been, wrongly 
treated in the British Parliament as something new and 
anomalous. On the contrary, it was but the continuation of 
that process begun in the sixteenth century by which society 
in Europe is relieved and civilization in America insti- 

* Seward to Adains, August 15, 1864. Claims of the United States 
against Great Britain, vol. ii, pp. 457, 458, 




THE gloom which hung over the North at the end of the 
old year was lightened at the opening of the new by the 
cheering report of a victory in Tennessee. After a week's 
delay at Louisville, Bnell set off in search of Bragg. They 
met and fought the battle of Perryville. Neither had the 
mastery; but the night after the fight the enemy retired and 
Buell and the North claimed a victory. Finding he was not 
attacked Bragg fell back into East Tennessee. Buell fol- 
lowed slowly, for a time, turned aside and went to Bowling 
Green and Glasgow. Aware that he was accused of slowness, 
of not following up his enemy, of failing to destroy Bragg^s 
army, he now suggested that if a change in command were 
contemplated, the change had best be made at once. It was 
contemplated, and at the end of October he was relieved by 

The new commander, knowing full well that a victory was 
expected, gathered the army at Nashville and on the day 
after Christmas went forth to attack Bragg in his winter 
quarters at Murfreesboro. Every foot of the way was so 
bitterly contested by Wheeler's cavalry that three days passed 
before he came within three miles of the town. Both com- 
manders decided to attack on the morning of the last day 
of the year. But Bragg struck first, brought on the bloody 
battle of Stones's River, and won the fight. The armies 
bivouacked on the field and watched each other on New 
Tear's day. More fighting followed on the second and third, 
and on the night of the third Bragg retreated southward. 
Kosecrans claimed a victory and entered Murfreesboro. 

Along the Eappahannock since the disastrous day at 
Frederieksburg the Army of the Potomac had gone from bad 
to worse. The men grew despondent, gloomy, discontented, 
lost all confidence in Burnside, and deserted by thousands. 


The commander blamed his generals for defeat, prepared an 
order dismissing Hooker and three other generals, and re- 
lieving FranHin and Sumner from duty, took it to Lincoln 
for approval and gave him the choice of two alternatives: 
approve the order or accept his resignation. Lincoln will- 
ingly accepted the resignation and put Hooker, known to 
the rank and file as "Fighting Joe," in command. 

With the good news from Tennessee came bad news from 
the coast. That Charleston was still in Confederate hands 
had become a grievance. Now that New Orleans had been 
captured, Savannah, Charleston, Wilmington, great centers 
of blockade running should be in Union hands. Beauregard 
was not surprised therefore to hear that preparations for an 
attack were under way at Port Royal and gave warning. 
Duty, he said, compelled him to inform the authorities 
and people of Charleston and Savannah that the enemy 
would soon attack by land and sea, and to urge all persons 
unable to take part in the struggle to retire. He hoped this 
temporary separation, from their homes would be made with- 
out alarm. He hoped every able-bodied man in Carolina 
and Georgia, from the seaboard to the mountains, would 
rush to arms and be not too exacting in the choice of arms. 
Pikes and scythes would do to exterminate their enemies; 
spades and shovels for protecting their families.* At Savan- 
nah, General Mercer appealed to all able-bodied exempts in 
Georgia to form companies of not less than twenty, elect 
officers, arm themselves with double-barrel shotguns, or any 
weapons they could secure, get ammunition and be ready 
when called to hasten to the defense of the city.f 

Weeks passed ere DuPont was ready, and April came bo- 
fore the look-out at Fort Sumter reported that the turrets 
of the far-famed monitors were in sight; that the whole 
squadron was visible, and finally, that eight monitors, the 
frigate New Ironsides, and twenty-seven wooden transports, 
had come to anchor just beyond the bar. $ As the news spread 

* Richmond Enquirer, February 18, 1863. 
t Savannah Kepublican, February 27, 1863. 

$ Charleston Mercury, April 8, 1863. Charleston Courier, April 8, 

1863 FORT SUMTER 379 

about the city noncombatants prepared to flee and every 
train that left was crowded with fugitives. On the follow- 
ing day, which, was Monday, the transports moved up the 
Stone River and the troops were put on shore. On Tuesday, 
the monitors and the New Ironsides crossed the bar and 
moved slowly inward until stopped by the line of obstruc- 
tions which stretched from Moultrie to Sumter. They were 
then within the semicircle of forts and batteries and seventy- 
six guns opened fire on them. Never before had such a rain 
of shot and shell fallen upon an attacking fleet. None save 
ironclads could have remained afloat. Even they were not 
proof against the polished steel shot supplied the Confeder- 
ates by England. The double turreted monitor KeoJcuJc was 
riddled, withdrew and sank at her moorings the nest morn- 
ing. The New Ironsides soon followed her, and the monitors 
were left to carry on the hopeless fight for more than an 
hour. The turrets of five were then so badly damaged that 
they could fight no more.* All were withdrawn, and in a 
few days xecrossed the bar and disappeared. 

Bitter was the disappointment ; but a defeat more galling 
still was close at hand. Since "Fighting Joe" took command 
the Army of the Potomac had recovered its spirits and mo- 
rale. Desertions had almost stopped. The "sullen gloom 
of the camps" f had disappeared. "Pride and hope began 
to pervade the ranks." $ Hooker described it as "the finest 
army on the planet," and well he might, for it now num- 
bered one hundred and thirty-three thousand men fully 
equipped and well disciplined. Lincoln, who saw it in 
April, and the people, looked forward with renewed hope 
and confidence. All that remained was for Hooker to move 
forward to victory. He has, it was said, a splendid army, 
thoroughly equipped, disciplined and well provided with all 
the essentials for a campaign. He has boasted that he com- 
mands "the finest army on the planet." Months of time 

* DuPont's Report, Official Records, Navy, Series 1, vol. xiii, pp. 5-28. 
Beauregard's Report, Official Records, Army, Series 1, vol. xiv, pp. 

f Reminiscences of Carl Schurz, vol. ii, p. 403. 

and Letters of General Meade, vol. i, p. 362. 


have "been, allowed Mm by the winter blockade of mud., to 
perfect its organization. He lias had experience under Me- 
Clellan on the peninsula, under Pope at Bull Eun, under! 
Burnside at Fredericksburg to guide him, and warn him of 
their blunders. His published testimony before the Commit- 
tee on the conduct of the War, puts him in a position of the 
gravest responsibility. After deliberately attempting to 
show that failure on the peninsula was due to want of gen- 
eralship on the part of McClellan,, that Burnside was as 
much to blame for his rashness at Fredericksburg as Mc- 
Clellan for his slowness at Yorktown, he has no alternative 
but victory or death ; death to himself on the field, or death 
to his reputation if he fails.* 

April twenty-seventh Hooker set out, reached Chancellors- 
ville on the afternoon of the thirtieth and bivouacked in the 
woods. The place, despite its name, was not a village, but 
a large brick house in the wilderness, a thick forest of second 
growth pines and black oak, and dense undergrowth inter- 
laced with vines. From the Chancellor House the General, 
in high spirits, issued a general order which put him in 
the class with Pope. With "heartfelt satisfaction/' he an- 
nounced that the operations of the last three days had 
"determined that the enemy must either vaingloriously fly, 
or come out from behind his defenses and give battle on our 
own ground where certain destruction awaits him." 

Lee, no longer in doubt as to Hooker's intentions, moved 
his army towards Chancellorsville, and when, on the morn- 
ing of May first, the Union army came out of the wilder- 
ness and attacked, the Confederates did not ingloriously 
flee, but offered a stubborn resistance. So stubborn was it 
that Hooker lost heart and ordered his men back into the 
woods. There they built entrenchments with trunks 1 of trees. 
To attack them Lee had no intention. His army was out- 
numbered, but he did not hesitate to divide it, and on the 
morning of May second Jackson with some thirty thousand 
men set off by a roundabout march to attack Hooker's right 
wing, commanded by Howard. The movement was no secret, 
and Howard was duly warned again and again. But, with 

*New York Herald, April 30, 1863. 


strange stubbornness, he held to the belief that the enemy 
was retreating and made no preparations to meet him. As 
at Shiloh, fleeing dwellers in the woods, deer and rabbits 
gave warning of the coming foe ; but neither Howard nor his 
men toot heed, and some were resting, some cooking, some 
amusing themselves with cards when Jackson's men came 
down upon them with a yell. Outnumbered two to one they 
made some resistance and then fled. Determined to make 
another attack that night, and if possible cut off retreat of 
the Union army, Jackson rode to the front to hasten the 
reorganization of his troops, thrown into disorder by the 
rush through the underbrush and the fight. Returning to- 
wards his lines, from which he had gone some distance, he 
and his officers were mistaken in the darkness for Federal 
officers, and were fired on by their own men. Jackson was 
struck by three bullets, and a few days later died. 

Early on Sunday the third of May, Jackson's corps at- 
tacked once more, as did the troops under Lee's command. 
During five hours the battle was desperate and bloody. By 
that time what Hooker had called "our own ground' 7 was in 
possession of the Confederate Army, and on the night of the 
fifth of May he retreated across the river despite the advice 
of his corps commanders to stay and fight. 

During the four weeks which followed the battle of Chan- 
cellorsville, Lee arranged his army in three divisions, gave 
the command of them to Longstreet, Ewell and Hill, and 
made ready to invade Pennsylvania. 

While he was making ready, the attention of the JSTorth 
was once more drawn to Burnside, who, after he was relieved 
of command of the Army of the Potomac, was assigned to 
the Military District of the Ohio with headquarters at Cin- 
cinnati where he was soon engaged in a struggle with 
Clement L. Vallandigham. 

Vallandigham was a native of Ohio. A man of parts, 
an able lawyer, eager for political preferment, skilled in the 
sort of oratory which in his time made a stump speaker 
effective, he early became a local leader, filled many party 
offices, and was a member of Congress when the war opened. 
An anti-abolitionist, a Southern sympathizer, a bitter opposer 


of the war as "unnecessary, lie became a bold, defiant critic, 
both, in Congress and on the stump, of almost every act of 
Lincoln and the Administration, and he found much to criti- 

Because of his defiance of the Government, its war 
measures, and his outspoken opposition to the war, Yallan- 
digham, by this time, was the recognized leader of the Cop- 
perheads, the Butternuts, the Peace-at-any-price men in 
Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and a canvass was started to 
secure his nomination to the governorship of Ohio. Now, 
it so happened that Burnside, alarmed and indignant at the 
open display of disloyalty in the Northwest, issued, in April, 
what became famous as General Order "No. 38. In it he 
gave warning that "the habit of declaring sympathy for the 
enemy will not be allowed in this Department. Persons 
committing such offenses will be at once arrested, with a 
view to being tried, or sent beyond our lines into the lines 
of their friends. It must be distinctly understood that trea- 
son, expressed or implied, will not be tolerated in this De- 
partment." * Vallandigham, who was then canvassing 
Ohio for the nomination for governor, determined to defy 
Burnside, and in a speech to a great crowd gathered before 
the State House at Columbus declared that he would con- 
tinue to criticize and condemn any and all acts of the party 
and men in power which seemed to deserve such treatment, 
"No attention was paid to this speech. But on the following 
day he addressed a mass meeting at Mount Vernon to which 
the whole countryside came carrying flags on liberty polos, 
wearing butternuts and copperheads cut from old copper 
cent pieces, and escorting thirty-four young women dressed to 
represent the thirty-four States of the old Union. To the 
meeting Burnside sent two officers in civilian clothes to take 
notes. The passages which they found disloyal were: "a 
wicked, cruel, and unnecessary war"; a a war not being 
waged for the preservation of the Union" ; "a war for the 
purpose of crushing out liberty and erecting a despotism"; 
"a war for the freedom of the blacks and the enslavement of 
the whites" ; that "if the Administration had so wished the 

* Official Kecords, Series 1, vol. xxiii, Part 2, p* 237. 


war could have been honorably terminated months ago." 
Burnside acted at once, and sent two officers and some troops 
to arrest him in Dayton. They broke into his house before 
dawn one morning, seized him in his bedroom., and brought 
him to Cincinnati where he was promptly taken before a 
military commission charged with "publicly expressing sym- 
pathy for those in arms against the Government of the 
United States, and declaring disloyal sentiments and opin- 
ions, with the object and purpose of weakening the power of 
the Government in its efforts to suppress an unlawful rebel- 
lion." He denied the jurisdiction of the commission. He 
was not in the army, nor in the navy, nor in the militia, and 
could be tried only before a civil court IsTevertheless, he was 
tried, found guilty of violating General Order ISTo. 38, by 
"expressing sympathy for those in arms against the Govern- 
ment of the United States, and declaring disloyal sentiments 
and opinions with the object and purpose of weakening the 
power of the Government in its efforts to suppress an unlaw- 
ful rebellion," and sentenced to confinement, during the con- 
tinuance of the war, in some fortress to be designated by the 
commander of the Department of the Ohio. Burnside chose 
Port Warren. But Lincoln, taking a hint from General 
Order No. 38, with a grim humor which greatly delighted 
all loyal men, directed Burnside to send Vallandigham to 
Kosecrans "to be put by him beyond our military lines." 
The order was carried out, and Vallandigham was delivered 
to Bragg at his headquarters at Shelbyville. From there he 
went to Wilmington, ran the blockade, reached Bermuda, 
sailed for Halifax and settled down in the little town of 

On the third of June the Army of Northern Virginia be- 
gan to withdraw from the neighborhood of Eredericksburg. 
Leaving Hill there to watch Hooker, Ewell and Longstreet 
camped at Culpeper on the seventh. On the tenth Ewell set 
off for the Shenandoah Valley, crossed by Chester Gap and 
swept the valley free of Federal troops as far as the Potomac. 
Jenkins' cavalry then crossed the Potomac at Williamsport, 

* Biographical Memoir of Vallandigham, by Ms brother, pp. 41, 42. 


forced the Union troops to leave Hagerstown, entered it on 
the fifteenth, and ordered all stores to be kept open. Horses 
and cattle were seized, telegraph wires cut and poles pulled 
down; but goods taken were paid for in Confederate money. 
Later in the day the enemy moved on towards Greencastle 
and Ohainbersburg. 

As they came on, a panic-stricken crowd on foot, on horse- 
back, in vehicles of every sort rushed into Chambersburg and 
merchants packed their goods and wares. By six o'clock in 
the evening communication with Greencastle ceased and ex- 
citement became intense. Towards midnight some fifty cav- 
alrymen galloped down the main street. The whole force 
soon followed. Citizens were ordered to stay indoors. Early 
the next morning a camp was made outside the town, and 
tradesmen forced to open their shops at nine o'clock. Arti- 
cles of men's wear were then seized and paid for in Confeder- 
ate notes, and the citizens required to deliver their firearms 
before ten o'clock the following day. By noon the enemy 
was gone. 

Lincoln now called for one hundred thousand troops from 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio,"* to serve 
for six months. The Governor of Pennsylvania sought aid 
of the Governor of "New Jersey and appealed to the citizens 
of Pennsylvania to enroll and fill her quota; the Mayor 
of Philadelphia implored citizens, willing to join in defense 
of the Commonwealth and "the shielding of their homes from 
rapine," to organize without delay and hurry on to Ilarris- 
burg, and the Governor reproached them for their sloth. 
For nearly a week, he said, it had been publicly known that 
the enemy was about to invade Pennsylvania. On the 
twelfth of June an urgent appeal to form an army corps for 
State defense was made. Yesterday, under proclamation of 
the President, the militia was called into service. To-day 
a new and pressing summons goes forth. "Philadelphia has 
not responded. Meanwhile the enemy is six miles this side 
of Chambersburg and advancing. Our capital is threatened, 

* June 15, 1863. From Pennsylvania 50,000; from Maryland 10,000 j 
from West Virginia 10,000; from Ohio 30,000, 


and we may be disgraced by its fall while men who should 
be driving the outlaws from our soil are quibbling over the 
term of sis months 3 service. The President had fixed the 
term at six months^ but it is not intended to hold them be- 
yond the emergency. If you do not wish the ignominy of 
shirking the defense of your State come forward at once. 
Come in such organizations as you can." * 

Men were hard to get. Willingly would they enlist for 
the emergency, for thirty, sixty days, for defense of the 
State. But to be mustered into the service of the United 
States for six months was a very different matter. What 
guarantee was there that when the emergency was over they 
would not be sent to join some army elsewhere ? 

In Maryland the same feeling prevailed. The Governor 
called for ten thousand volunteers to fill the quota assigned 
the State by Lincoln, f They were needed at once ; but so few 
responded that after waiting four days he issued an appeal. 
His proclamation had not met with the prompt response he 
felt he had a right to expect. The number of men obtained 
was far short of what was needed. Some, claiming to be 
ready to defend the State at any time, hesitated to enlist 
in the Federal service lest they be sent out of the State. The 
proclamation of the President making the call assumed the 
reason for it to be the threatened invasion of the State, and 
seemed to be an implied assurance that the troops would 
serve within the borders of Maryland and nowhere else. 
Suppose it were otherwise. Were the men of Maryland 
willing to so cramp the service asked as to limit it to the 
boundaries of the State? Some thought there should be a 
draft. Only loyal men would volunteer. A draft would 
force rebel sympathizers to do their part. Not so. Patriotic 
service was needed, and did any one expect patriotic service 
from secessionists? Would loyal men leave Baltimore un- 
defended because the disloyal folded their arms and offered 
no resistance to the enemy ? $ The Governor of New Jersey 
called for volunteers to hurry to the defense of Pennsyl- 

* To the citizens of Philadelphia, June 16, 1863. 
f Proclamation, June 17, 1863. 
i Appeal, June 21, 1863. 


vania, and while they were coming forward sent two regi- 
ments of militia to Harrisburg. They were militia, could 
not be called to service for more than sixty days, had not 
been called for by the President and were not expected to 
become a part of the army of the United States. They had 
gone to help a sister State in time of dire need. When, 
therefore, it was found they must take the oath and be mus- 
tered into service, they went home. 

Governor Seymour of New York acted with great prompt- 
ness. Before the twenty-fifth of June twenty regiments 
drawn from Brooklyn, New York City and two near-by coun- 
ties were in the field in Pennsylvania. While those troops 
were hurrying to the front the citizens of Harrisburg were 
in a state of feverish excitement. On the fifteenth, at noon ? 
the Court House bell was rung, a call to a mass meeting, over 
which General Cameron presided. He denounced the gov- 
ernment for its disgraceful neglect of Pennsylvania, pledged 
his fortune for defense of the Commonwealth, and demanded 
that the Governor appoint McClellan or Franklin to the com- 
mand of the troops of Pennsylvania. Tuesday, the sixteenth, 
found the shops closed, the markets deserted, hotels empty, 
the post-office shut; clerks busy in the Department of State 
packing documents, and books and portraits in the Library 
prepared for removal. Hundreds of citizens had locked 
their doors and fled eastward. Those who remained stood in 
groups in the streets discussing the raid, the chances of cap- 
ture of the city, and the need for McClellan. The rebels, it 
was said, might arrive at any moment, that night, or on the 
morrow, and there were no troops to meet them. If only 
McClellan were given command and called for volunteers 
every old soldier of the Army of the Potomac recently mus- 
tered out would respond, and Lee would be confronted by an 
army of veterans. In default of troops all able-bodied men 
in Harrftburg were summoned to work in the trenches that 
were to be dug on both sides of the Susquehanna. Citizens, 
the summons said, let your love of home prompt you to aid 
in the erection of proper fortifications. Immediate and ener- 
getic labor is required. Those unused to the sun can work 
at night; hardier men by day. Let all respond and crowd 


the works. Laborers will be paid one dollar and a quarter 
per day and colored men the same. One thousand empty 
barrels are needed. Let all who have any put them in the 
street In front of their homes or places of business. Another 
placard read: "Don't be scared! We are ashamed of the 
cowardice exhibited by the %yal ? people of Harrisburg. 
We looked to them for an example of courage and coolness^ 
and have been disappointed. We now appeal to the citizens 
to keep cool and make at least a show of courage. There are 
enough of us to drive off any rebel army likely to make its 
appearance, and we have just been assured by General Cam- 
eron that there will be ten thousand troops here in the course 
of the day. New York has tendered a whole division. Be 
brave! Keep cool and all will be well." 

Military authorities in Baltimore having expressed a 
doubt that any rebels had entered Pennsylvania, Governor 
Curtin replied they had entered Chambersburg and burned 
the bridge at Scotland. The stay of the Confederates at 
Chambersburg was short. They fell back on the afternoon 
of the seventeenth and at four o'clock the nest morning a 
band of cavalry dashed into McConnellsburg, opened the 
stores, carried off boots, shoes, hats, drugs and food, seized 
all the horses in the town and left at nine o'clock for Han- 
cock. June twenty-first Frederick was occupied and then 
Greencastle and Millersville eight miles from Gettysburg. 
Again the panic-stricken people fled before the oncoming 
foe. From Gettysburg and the country about it, refugees, 
white and black, old and young, with oxen, horses, wagons 
full of household goods, fled northward and over the bridge 
into Harrisburg and on eastward in search of a safe abode. 
Again there was another exodus of frightened citizens from 
Harrisburg. On the twenty-second Ewell, then at Hagers- 
town, received instructions to push into Pennsylvania, move 
towards the Susquehanna by way of Chambersburg, and "if 
Harrisburg comes within your means, capture it" Moving 
forward at once he reached Chambersburg on the twenty- 
fourth and issued orders to the people. Sale of intoxicating 
liquors to his troops was forbidden. All persons having such 
liquor must report the fact at once to the Provost-Marshal 


that a guard might be placed over It. Any violation of the 
order would be punished by confiscation. Citizens of the coun- 
try through which the army passed, who were not in military 
service, must abstain from acts of hostility on pain of sum- 
mary treatment. Every article the rebels desired to eat or 
wear, said an eye witness, was ruthlessly wrested from the 
people. Store after store was stripped, private residences 
entered and searched from attic to cellar. Whoii looting 
stores whatever the rebels could not carry off was destroyed. 
Sugar was trampled under foot, coffee was scattered on the 
sidewalk, canteens were filled with molasses; and muslin, 
bolts of cloth, hats, shoes, hardware, drugs, medicines were 
packed in wagons and sent towards the Potomac. June 
twenty-fifth, Ewell was reported at Shippensburg. On the 
twenty-seventh he entered Carlisle from which, as he came 
on, the Union force retired. 

Ewell having started for Pennsylvania, Longstrcet's Corps 
crossed the Potomac on the twenty-fourth at Williamsport. 
HilFs Corps followed on the twenty-fifth, passed through Hag- 
erstown on the twenty-sixth, and joined Longstreet at Oham- 
bersburg on the following day. Lee's whole army was now 
in Pennsylvania. Feeling sure that Lee, having beaten 
Hooker at Chancellorsville, would beat him in Pennsylvania, 
men of prominence appealed to Lincoln to put McOlellan. at 
the head of the Army of the Potomac, or at least in command 
of the men gathering around Tlarrisburg. Stanton was as- 
sured by the Postmaster of Philadelphia that a plan was on 
foot to send a messenger to New York to invite McClellan to 
come to that city and "take charge of things generally/' * 
G-overnor Parker telegraphed Lincoln that the people of New 
Jersey feared that the invasion might extend to her soil, so 
great was the apathy in meeting the fearful state of affairs. 
That apathy should be removed, and the people of New 
Jersey wanted McClellan restored to the command of the 
Army of the Potomac. If that could not be done, then they 
asked that he be put at the head of the New Jersey, New 
York, and Pennsylvania troops then in Pennsylvania. In 

* Official Kecords, Series 1, yol. xxvii, Part 3, j>, 391. 


either case the people would rise en masse.* Ho one out of 
my position, was Lincoln's reply, can know so well as if he 
were in it, the difficulties and inTolvements of replacing 
General McClellan in command, f Call McClellan to the 
Army of the Potomac, and Franklin to the Army of the 
Cumberland, an admirer telegraphed from Louisville, and 
there will be no need of a draft. Volunteers will enlist by 
thousands, and the rebellion will be crushed in ninety days. $ 
The 'N&w York Board of Councilmen resolved that the 
Rebels having dared to invade loyal soil, and the late com- 
mander of the Army of the Potomac being out of service, 
and held in high esteem by the truly loyal and fighting people 
of the N"orth, they earnestly requested that the Administra- 
tion put him in the position which the present crisis demands 
for the safety of the country. In Philadelphia the Select 
Council postponed consideration of a resolution that the 
President be requested to recall to the head of the Army 
General George B. McClellan. Common Council did the 
same to a resolution that the Governor use his influence to 
have General McClellan placed in command of the Pennsyl- 
vania troops. || The popular heart beats high in General 
McClellan 7 s favor,, said the New York Herald., and the pop- 
ular voice which has already spoken for him all over the 
country, will give still louder utterances. The Herald would 
rejoice to see such popular pressure as would afford the 
military authorities a decent excuse to reinstate McClellan 
in his old command. 

The National Intelligencer, of Washington, "with a full 
sense of the responsibility" involved, declared its deliberate 
conviction to be, that the President could not, by any act, do 
so much to restore the confidence of the nation as by the 
recall of McClellan to the Army of the Potomac.** The 
Evening Post replied that utter rout and annihilation 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. xxvii, Part 3, p. 409. 

f Ibid., p. 437. 

$Ibid., p. 410. 

New York Herald, June 29, 1863. 

|| Ibid., June 18, 1863. 

** National Intelligencer, June 18, 1863. ew York Herald, June 10, 


of the army by the rebels, in a pitched battle, would not be 
a harder blow to the friends of the Union than such an act 
of folly on the part of Lincoln.* Even after Hooker was 
replaced by Meade the pressure on the President continued. 
The President of the Pennsylvania Eailroad assured him 
that it was essential that McGlellan be placed in charge of 
the forces in Pennsylvania.f It is not possible to hasten 
the organization of the troops, a Republican leader sent word 
from Philadelphia. Our people are paralyzed from want of 
confidence and lack of leadership and unless they can be 
inspired with hope we shall fail to do anything worthy of 
our State. He was fully persuaded that to call McClellan 
to a command "here would be the best thing that can be 
done." After free consultation with trusted friends of th0 
Administration he did not hesitate to urge "that McClellan 
be called here." $ 

Ewell meantime sent Early, with a division, by way of 
Greenwood and Gettysburg to take Tork. June twenty-sixth 
he entered Gettysburg and at five o'clock in the morning of 
the following day was before York. The chief burgess and 
a deputation of citizens made a formal surrender of the 
town, and while Gordon camped outside Early with some 
three thousand men and seven guns entered and laid it under 
contributions. He demanded one hundred thousand dollars 
in United States Treasury notes; ten thousand pounds of 
flour, forty thousand pounds of fresh beef, thirty thousand 
bushels of corn, a thousand pair of shoes, a thousand pair of 
stockings, a thousand coats and caps, which must be delivered 
in twenty-four hours or his men would help themselves. He 
received the hats, shoes, stockings, three days' rations and 
twenty-eight thousand dollars in money. While the supplies 
were being collected troops were sent to seize the long bridge 
over the Susquehanna at Columbia. It was a covered struc- 
ture a mile long, rested on stone piers, had twenty-eight 
spans each two hundred feet in length, was forty feet wide, 
and carried a railroad, a wagon road and a tow path for the 
canal. Early intended to cross the bridge with his division, 

* New York Evening Post, June 23, 1863. 

f Official Records, Series 1 } vol. xxvii, Part 3, p. 435. 

A. K. McClure to Lincoln* June 30, 1863. 



cut the Pennsylvania Railroad, take Lancaster and attack 
Harrisburg in the rear while Ewell attacked in front 

'N&ws and wild stories of his advance caused intense ex- 
citement. As the facts "became better known and no doubt 
that Columbia would be attacked remained the excitement 
there and in near-by villages knew no bounds, and on Sat- 
urday the twenty-seventh became a panic. During the day 
hundreds of country people from the direction of York, driv- 
ing before them horses and cattle, crossed the bridge. The 
horses alone, it was said, must have numbered four thousand. 
In Columbia, the citizens in consternation made haste to 
defend their homes as best they could. They formed com- 
panies, dug rifle pits on the river bank before the town and 
in front of Wrightsville across the river, and so prepared the 
bridge that a few blows, if the worse came to worst, would 
make it impassable. On Sunday, at three o'clock, the cry 
was raised "They are coming.' 7 At five o'clock the fight 
began ; the rifle pits were shelled ; the defenders fearing they 
would be cut off fled over the bridge; the preparations to 
destroy one span were forgotten, and in desperation it was 
set on fire. 

Checked in the attempt to cross the Susquehanna, the 
rebels fell back to York.* There Early issued a proclama- 
tion. He had not burned the railroad buildings and the car 
shops, he said, lest the safety of the town should be en- 
dangered. To apply the torch would have been justified as 
an act of retaliation for the authorized acts of barbarity done 
"by your army on our soil." He did not make war on 
women and children and hoped his treatment of the citizens 
of York would open their eyes to the odious tyranny under 
which it was apparent they were groaning, f 

June twenty-eighth some of EwelPs men came within four 
miles of Harrisburg, and brought on a skirmish. The sound 
of the guns was heard in the city, and that night it was re- 
ported in Philadelphia that the Confederates were shelling 
Harrisburg. Excitement now became intense. On the mor- 
row all business was suspended. The Mayor by proclama- 

* June 29, 1863. 

f June 30, 1863. New York Herald, July 1* 1863. 


tion made "one more appeal in the name of duty and man- 
hood." Yon can, lie said, no longer close your eyes to the 
fact that the foot of the rebel is already at the gates of your 
Capital and may, in a few days, cross your own threshold: 
unless you arise to instant activity. Ton number fifty thou- 
sand able-bodied men. Means to arm you is at hand. Close 
your manufactories, workshops, stores, before stern necessity 
makes it compulsory. Assemble, organize, drill. 

By noon all stores were closed. The streets were thronged 
with people talking, arguing, criticizing. Instead, said the 
Ledger, of the simple platform : "The State invaded, the foe 
must be driven back," they discussed the causes of the war, 
the policy of the Administration, the claims of particular 
generals and the duty of certain organizations to volunteer. 
Philadelphia's quota, under the Governor's call, was seven 
thousand seven hundred and eighteen men. They should, 
every one of them, at least have enrolled at once. Only one 
thousand enlisted in the service of the State during the day,* 
Nevertheless the people were aroused. The merchants 
agreed to raise a million dollars. Seventy-five dollars was 
to be given to each of five hundred men if they were mustered 
into service; the rest of the fund was to aid their families. 
The brokers voted twenty-five thousand for bounty and relief. 
The merchants, the Union League, the Corn Exchange, 
raised regiments. The coal trade raised three Coal Regi- 
ments "by liberal bounties. The ball players raised a com- 
pany. In almost every ward the citizens organized, some 
for defense of the city, some for defense of the State.f 
Clergymen volunteered to work on the fortifications, for 
many seriously believed the city was in danger. Soldiers 
of the War of 1812 tendered their services. 

But where was Hooker's army ? Leaving its position be- 
fore Fredericksburg, June thirteenth, and marching north- 
ward, covering Washington as it went, it crossed the Poto- 
mac at Edward's Ferry at the very time Hill crossed at 
Williamsport, and halted at Boonsboro, Frederick and Mid- 

* Philadelphia Ledger, June 30, 1863. 

f Notices and calls for Volunteers. Philadelphia Ledger, June 30, 



dleton. One corps, the twelfth, marclaed to Harpers Ferry. 
Joined by the garrison at the Ferry it was to cut Lee's com- 
munications. But Halleck would not allow the garrison to 
be moved and Hooker asked to be relieved.* Lincoln acted 
at once, and at three o'clock on the morning of the twenty- 
eighth an officer from Washington entered the hut of General 
George Gordon Meade, awoke him and delivered an order 
relieving Hooker and placing Meade in command. Fully 
aware of "the trying position" into which he was thus sud- 
denly thrust, fully determined to use his "utmost abilities 
to command success," f he now prepared to move against 

Until that day the whereabouts of the Army of the Poto- 
mac was unknown to Lee. He knew not that it had crossed 
the Potomac. Stuart 3 who should have kept him informed, 
was off on a useless cavalry raid well to the east of the 
Army of the Potomac. But when, on the twenty-eighth, a 
spy brought word,$ Lee recalled Ewell from Harrisburg and 
Early from York, and gathered his army about Cashtown, 
Greenwood, Ohambersburg and Heidlersburg. 

"If Lee is moving for Baltimore/ 7 Meade telegraphed 
Halleck, "I expect to get between his main army and that 
place. If he is crossing the Susquehanna, I shall rely upon 
General Couch, with his force, holding him until I can fall 
upon his rear and give him battle which I shall endeavor to 
do." But events, unknown to him, had already fixed the 
spot where was to open another of the decisive battles of the 
world. On the twenty-ninth, as Eeynolds 7 Corps on the left 
moved forward with Buford's Cavalry in advance, Buford 
saw eampfires, notified Reynolds of the presence of the enemy 
and was ordered to push on to Gettysburg. As he drew near 
to the town from the east on the morning of the thirtieth, 
Pettigrew with a wagon train approached from the west. 
He was coming to capture shoes believed to be in Gettys- 
burg, became aware of the presence of Buford and fell back 
Buford entered the town ? passed through, moved out the 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. xlm, p. 60. 

t Life and Letters of General Meade, vol. i, p. 388. 

^Official Records, Lee's Report, Series 1, vol. xxvii, Part 2, p. 310. 


Chambersburg pike, went beyond Seminary Ridge, dis- 
mounted his men and prepared to hold Ms position until 
Reynolds came with, the First Corps. It was eight o'clock 
on the morning of the first of July when the enemy appeared 
and skirmishing began. It was ten when Reynolds arrived 
with part of his corps. While hurrying his men to their 
places in the line of battle he was killed by a Confederate 
sharpshooter. It was eleven when the rest of his corps, and 
noon when Howard and his troops reached the front. By 
that time Swell's men were coming down the ITeidlersburg 
road toward the Union rear. The fighting which followed 
was desperate and bloody. The Union army suffered heavy 
losses, and inflicted heavy losses. But, outnumbered and 
outflanked, it was forced back to Seminary Ridge and then 
to a line in front of the town, and finally through the town 
to Cemetery Hill where Howard had posted artillery and 
troops to hold it as a rallying place in case of need. Await- 
ing the retreating men was Hancock who had come to take 
command. They were then 011 a part of what was to be the 
field of battle for the next two days, a field selected not 
by choice, but made so by force of circumstances. 

Cemetery Hill, on which the discomforted troops thus 
found refuge, lies half a mile south of Gettysburg. Half a 
mile to the eastward is Gulp's Hill. From Cemetery Hill a 
ridge, Cemetery Ridge, runs southward a mile and more. 
Just off its south end rises Little Round Top, a high conical 
hill whose slopes are covered with trees and strewn with 
huge bowlders. Parted from it by a ravine is Round Top 
which rises higher still and whose slopes are likewise covered 
with bowlders. A few hundred yards west of Little Round 
Top is a low hill whose bowlders form caves from one of 
which comes its name, Devil's Den. West of Cemetery 
Ridge, and almost parallel to it, and from a mile to a mile 
and a quarter away, is Seminary Ridge. Down the valley 
between the ridges runs the road from Gettysburg to Em- 
mitsburg. On the night after the battle of the first day, the 
Union line ran northward along Gulp's Hill, westward to 
Cemetery Hill, southward along Cemetery Ridge, and ended 
on Little Round Top. The Confederate line swept around 



Gulp's and Cemetery Mils in front of tie Union lino, went 
through Gettysburg, and southward along Seminary Eidge. 

Each commander intended to attack the other early on the 
morning of the second; but neither did so, and the day wore 
on from morning to afternoon without a movement by either 
army, and four o'clock came before the attack was made on 
the Union troops gathered near the Bound Tops. The regi- 
ments which held Little Eound Top during the night of the 
first of July were withdrawn early on the morning of the 
second, and Sickles ordered to carry the line of battle south- 
ward from Cemetery Eidge and occupy Little Eound Top. 
He did not do so ; but went forward and took position at the 
Peach Orchard just where a road which skirts the base of 
Little Eound Top meets the Emmitsburg road. Part of his 
line extended northward along the Emmitsburg road. The 
rest was bent backward through the orchard and a wheat 
field to the Devil's Den, leaving a wide gap between his line 
and that of the troops on Cemetery Eidge. It was against 
this detached position of Sickles' that the enemy moved late 
in the afternoon of the second day. Meade, who was present 
censuring Sickles for his rash act, at once sent off for troops, 
infantry and artillery, from every part of his line. They 
came with all possible speed, the gap was filled in the very 
nick of time, and the line strengthened. But the enemy, after 
an hour of desperate fighting, captured the DeviFs Den, 
crushed in the angle at the Peach Orchard, forced Sickles' 
line back to Cemetery Eidge, swept over Eound Top, and 
began to climb the slopes of Little Eound Top. But the 
hill was then in Union hands. A desperate struggle for 
possession followed ; but when it was over both Eound Tops 
were in possession of the Union troops, and the Confederates 
had been driven down to the base of the hills. 

It was part of Lee's plan that when the attack on Meade's 
left began, another should begin on his right. "When, there- 
fore, the sound of the guns on the left was heard, an assault 
was made on Gulp's Hill, where the line had been thinned 
by the withdrawal of troops to aid Sickles, and after two 
hours of hard fighting the enemy held part, of the Union 
works. While the fighting was raging at Gulp's Hill, Earl/s 


men attacked Cemetery Hill, broke through a line of in- 
fantry, rushed up the slope to the crest, and captured two 
batteries. But the artillerymen rallied, fought with ram- 
mers, handspikes, stones, and checked the advance until 
reinforcements arrived and beat back the enemy. 

Concerning the first and second day's fight the people of 
the North as yet knew little. When they opened their news- 
papers on the third of July they read, not of the battle, but 
of the retirement of the rebels from Carlisle on the morning 
of the first ; of the occupation of the town by Union troops ; 
of the return of the enemy at five in the afternoon; of a 
demand for its surrender which was refused ; of a fight which 
continued until ten o ? clock at night when the enemy retired 
after burning the barracks, the gas works and one dwelling, 
and warning the women and children to leave before ten 
o'clock on the morning of the second. During the fighting 
the women and children fled or sought refuge in cellars. 
From Washington at midnight came a report that the Gov- 
ernment had received no official details of the fighting on 
July first. Very likely the army had been in combat with 
the enemy on the second of July, but if so, the War Depart- 
ment knew nothing of it. Harrisburg at midnight reported 
heavy firing in the direction of the spot where the armies 
of Lee and Meade were supposed to be, but, as the rebels 
were in position between Harrisburg and Meade's army no- 
body knew what had occurred. Baltimore by midnight had 
heard from parties who left Gettysburg that morning that 
the fight was going well. There was no general battle but 
heavy skirmishing. Columbia reported that the battle 
opened with severe skirmishing on the morning of July 
first when the First and Eleventh Corps and Pleasanton's 
Cavalry engaged Ewell near Gettysburg, and that fighting 
was resumed on the morning of the second. 

It was the intention of Lee that, on the morning of the 
third day of the battle, Ewell should attack the Federal right 
while Longstreet passed around Big and Little Round Top 
and fell on the Union rear. But as dawn broke the Confed- 
erates attacked at Gulp's Hill, and brought on a contest of 
seven hours' duration. They were beaten and the works 


they took on the previous day were recovered. This battle 
disarranged the plan of Lee and led him to order Longstreet, 
reenf orced by Pickett, to attack the Union center. Long- 
street did not approve. The point chosen for attack had 
been tested the day before and nothing gained. The enemy 
was expecting another assault and had put up defenses dur- 
ing the night. The ridge, the tiers of artillery the fences 
and heavy skirmish lines, the mile or more of open ground 
to be crossed under fire, made it inadvisable. "The enemy 
is there/' was Lee's reply, "and I am going to strike him." 

There was an ominous silence from eleven o'clock when 
the fighting at Gulp's Hill ceased, until one. Then two 
signal guns were fired, one hundred and thirty-eight along 
the Confederate line made answer, seventy-seven along the 
Union line replied, and the greatest artillery duel of the 
war opened. During two hours the cannonading continued. 
Soon after it ceased the advance began. The troops chosen 
to make the assault were those of Picketfs and Pettigrew 7 s 
divisions, of two brigades under Trimble and others in sup- 
port. The objective towards which they moved is said to 
have been an umbrella-shaped clump of trees where, behind 
a stone wall were men of Hancock's Corps. At twenty paces 
from the wall some threw down their arms and surrendered. 
Some fled down the hillside. Others kept on and Armistead 
and many of his men climbed the wall at a point where the 
troops had been withdrawn to make way for the artillery. 
Forty-two of them and their commander fell dead within 
the Union lines. Farther to the right Pettigrew and Trim- 
ble reached the wall ; but there too the men were slaughtered 
and such as were not killed, wounded or prisoners fled back 
to the Confederate lines. 

The battle fought and lost, Lee withdrew his army to 
Seminary Eidge, entrenched, and spent the fourth of July 
waiting and hoping to be attacked. He was not, and 
after dark he began his retreat. But heavy rain, darkness 
and mud so delayed the movement that noon of the fifth 
came before the rear guard started. That day he entered 
the Cumberland valley and two days later reached the Poto- 
mac. The river was in flood, and his pontoons had been 


destroyed by a force sent by Meade. Unable to cross lie 
posted his army on a high plateau west of Hagerstown, and 
with care fortified his line which followed the ridge from 
Hagerstown to the Potomac, a distance of ten miles. There 
he waited for the waters of the river to subside. 

Meade had sent cavalry to pursue the retreating rebels and 
close the passes in the mountains ; but not until the sixth did 
his army begin to move southward along the Emmitsburg 
Pike. On the tenth it was between Frederick and Boons- 
boro ; on the thirteenth it was in front of Lee. 

The pressj unable to tell what was taking place, spread 
rumors of the wildest sort. ISTow, Longstreet was dead, 
twenty thousand prisoners taken and the rebel army in full 
retreat towards Chambersburg. Now Lee had been driven 
into the mountains and was surrounded. Now Meade was 
in pursuit and it was expected that only a small part of 
Lee's army would escape into Virginia. Now the Confed- 
erates were drawn up on the banks of the Potomac which 
was brimful and a raging torrent. "tTow the Union army 
had arrived and a furious battle was raging. Lee's army 
would be destroyed to a certainty. Later it was said to 
have been routed, and was flying panic-stricken in all direc- 
tions. This was soon contradicted and the enemy were said 
to be crossing on scows and rafts. Where Meade was no one 
Jmew, but it was expected that only a part of the Army of 
^Northern Virginia would succeed in crossing the Potomac.* 

The South heard very different news. In Eichmond, the 
Unguirer announced that the President of the Southern Tele- 
graph Company had received from the operator at Martins- 
burg a dispatch which read : "Lee has defeated the enemy. 
General Meade is retreating towards Baltimore. General 
Lee is pursuing." f One day later the same journal re- 
ported a "Glorious Victory at Gettysburg. Forty Thousand 
Prisoners Captured." $ From Richmond the news went to 
Savannah where the Republican under the heading: 
"The Best News of the War," told of the "overwhelming 

*New York Tribune, July 9, 1863. 

t Richmond Enquirer, July 7, 1863. The dispatch was dated July 5. 

$ Ibid., July 8, 1863. 



defeat of the Yankees at Gettysburg. Forty thousand 
prisoners in our hands" ; told how, on Sunday the fifth, by 
one of the most brilliant movements on record, the enemy 
was surrounded and nearly every man either killed, wounded 
or captured.* What should be done with this army of 
prisoners was a serious question to be very gravely con- 
sidered by the War Department. To gather such a number 
of enemies in Richmond would be most unwise. In case of 
an insurrection they might capture the city. Better scatter 
them over the Confederacy.f Later news puzzled the editor. 
He hardly knew what to think of the very singular and 
inconsistent reports received from day to day from Lee's 
army. If the dispatches from the Southern Telegraph Com- 
pany were correct the fighting at Gettysburg ended on Thurs- 
day or Friday, and the great battle on Sunday in which forty 
thousand prisoners were captured never occurred. A later 
Yankee account reported Lee's defeat and gave an unfavor- 
able view of his army and his progress. He did not believe 
one half of the story. Lee might have found it good policy 
to retire after giving the Yankees a good drubbing. But 
that he was whipped, or his army put in peril by the aboli- 
tion thieves he would not believe for one moment. J When he 
could no longer doubt the report ho announced : "The Skies 
Brighten. General Lee falls back for want of supplies. 57 

To have attacked Lee in his fastness on the heights would 
have been to repeat the folly of Burnside at Fredericksburg. 
But Meade yielded to the wishes of the President and the 
wishes of the people that Lee should not escape, and against 
the advice of his generals, decided to make an attack on the 
morning of the fourteenth. When morning came Lee was 
safe in Virginia. His army had crossed in the night. 

I need hardly say to you, Halleck telegraphed, that the es- 
cape of Lee's army without another battle has created great 
dissatisfaction in the mind of the President. It will require 
an active and energetic pursuit to remove the impression that 

* Savannah Republican, July 8, 1863. 

f Ibid. 

$Ibid., July 10, 1863. 

Ibid., July 11, 1863. 


it has not been sufficiently active heretofore." 5 * 1 On receipt 
of this reproach Meade instantly asked to be relieved, f The 
request was not granted. 

As soon as possible after the fighting ended the Governor 
of Pennsylvania hurried to Gettysburg to see that proper 
care was given to the sick and wounded, visited the field so 
desperately fought over, and was shocked by what he saw. 
Many of the dead were but partially buried. Many were 
not buried at all. Where markers of wood had been used the 
name of the dead was written in pencil, and would soon be 
obliterated by rain and sun. Graves of the unknown, having 
no markers, would soon be overgrown by grass and weeds, 
or covered by fallen leaves and, it might be, lost forever. 
That these conditions might be bettered, the slain decently 
buried, and the graves permanently marked, the Governor 
appointed as his agent a citizen of Gettysburg named Wills. 
To him it seemed unpatriotic to leave the remains of those 
who had given their lives to save the "Union scattered over 
the field ? singly and in groups, where they fell. Far better 
to gather them together in one great cemetery where they 
could all be cared for, properly. Governor Curtin approved ; 
the Governors of the seventeen States whose troops had borne 
a part in the battle approved ; and by order of Curtin seven- 
teen acres were purchased on Cemetery Hill where the 
Union center rested on the second and third of July. Plots 
were laid off; one was assigned to each State; a day was 
chosen for the dedication of the Cemetery; and by vote of 
the Governors Edward Everett was invited to be the orator 
of the day. Lincoln was invited to make an address. Ever- 
ett could not be ready on the day chosen, the twenty-third 
of October., and at his request the ceremonies were held on 
November nineteenth. The oration by Everett was very 
long and very finished ; but has become so utterly forgotten 
that it is no longer read even by the curious. The short 
address by Lincoln has become a classic of the English lan- 
guage. It was not then so considered by the crowd that 
heard it, nor by the newspapers that published it. Their 

* July 14, 1863. Official Records, Series 1, vol. xxvii, Part 1, p. 92. 
f July 14, 1863. Ibid., p. 93. 

iMiHikeiis BeiiO^X* 

&\ /jSr/dge \DepOt 



April and May 



praise was all for Everett Said one reporter, describing 
the scene for his journal, "The President rises slowly, draws 
from Ms pocket a paper, and when commotion subsides in 
a sharp, unmusical, treble voice reads the following brief and 
pithy remarks." * Another did, indeed, in passing, refer 
to the President's "brief and immortal speech." But to 
the mass of those who read the address it was what the 
journals called it merely, dedicatory remarks.f 

On the seventh of July, the day whereon Lee reached the 
Potomac, Secretary Welles placed in Lincoln's hands a dis- 
patch from Admiral Porter. "I have the honor to inform 
you," were the words the President read, "that Vicksburg 
was surrendered to the United States forces on the fourth 
of July." $ Some affected to doubt the good news. The 
report comes by a dispatch boat which left Vicksburg at ten 
o'clock on the morning of the fifth, and reached Cairo before 
noon on the seventh. The distance is six hundred and forty 
miles, and must have been run against the current at the 
rate of thirteen miles an hour. Dispatch boat time between 
Vicksburg and Memphis is two days. Perhaps the news 
came by way of Memphis. Strange it came from Porter and 
not from Grant. July eighth brought the dispatch from 
Grant and no one any longer doubted. 

Vicksburg crowned a great bluff, was well defended, and 
with Port Hudson blocked the Mississippi for two hundred 
miles, and what was far more important, kept open commu- 
nication with Texas from which came supplies and ammu- 
nition brought from England to Matamoras. For political 
as well as military reasons the place must be taken; the 
Confederacy must be cut in twain. But every attempt to 
do so ended in failure until Grant assumed the task in the 
autumn of 1862. Even he was not successful at first. Four 
times he sought to get in the rear of Vicksburg from the 
north and four times failed before he determined to go down 
the river and try to reach it from the south. Gathering 

* Cincinnati Commercial, November 23, 1863. 
t Philadelphia Press, November 21, 1863. 
$New York Herald, July 8, 1863. 
New York World, July 8, 1863. 


the troops at Milliken's Bend on the west bank, some seven- 
teen miles above the city, lie marched them across the 
swampy land and bayous to the neighborhood of New Car- 
thage, some twenty-five below, and there awaited the coming 
of Porter with the ironclads, steamers and transports laden 
with supplies. To run the batteries was a bold and daring 
act; but Porter did it one dark night in April and reached 
ISTew Carthage with the loss of but one transport. A second 
run was made on the twenty-second when six steamers and 
twelve barges loaded with provisions and hay went by the 
batteries with the loss of but one transport. Partly on foot 
and partly by boat the troops were then moved to Hard 
Times Landing Just above Grand Gulf, and Porter's fleet 
attacked the batteries. But the bluff was high, the attack 
was only partially successful and Grant moved his men by 
land past Grand Gulf to a point out of range of the guns. 
That night the fleet and the transports ran by the guns and 
by noon of the thirtieth the army was ferried across the 
river to Bruinsburg on the eastern bank.* The narrow road 
up the bluff was climbed without opposition, the army 
marched inland and about two on the morning of May first, 
came upon a force of Confederates. The battle which fol- 
lowed lasted until late in the day. So late that the morrow 
came before Port Gibson was entered. Grand Gulf was 
then evacuated and for awhile became Grant's base of sup- 
plies. A halt was made to await the coming of the wagon 
trains and the arrival of Sherman's corps left behind to make 
a demonstration against Haines' Bluff. Two armies were 
now before Grant: that under Pemberton, defending 
Vieksburg, and that gathered by Joseph E. Johnston at Jack- 
son. Grant decided to attack Johnston first, and abandoning 
his base he started eastward living on the country as he went. 
And now victory followed victory in quick succession. May 
twelfth he beat the enemy at Raymond; May fourteenth he 
drove Johnston from Jackson and entered the city; turned 
westward and on the sixteenth met Petmberton coming to 
attack his rear and won the bloody battle of Baker's Creek 
or Champion Hill; beat Pemberton again at Big Black 

* Official Records, Series 1, vol. xxiv, Part ,1. 



Elver bridge on the seventeenth, and the next day was before 
the Confederate lines at Vicksburg. Two desperate attempts 
to carry the lines by storm were made. The assaults were 
beaten back, and Grant settled down to a long siege. From 
the hour he arrived the city was doomed. But forty-eight 
days passed before hunger, misery and despair forced Pern- 
berton to ask for terms. Grant demanded an unconditional 
surrender. Pemberton stoutly refused; but yielded, and on 
the morning of July fourth a detachment of Union troops 
entered and occupied Vicksburg. One who saw it that day 
found the city less injured than he had expected. Streets 
had been plowed by shells, gardens and open lots cut up; 
fences broken, trees and shrubbery torn. On nearly every 
gatepost was an unexploded shell, and on porches and piazzas 
were collections of shot and shell that fell in the yard. But 
few buildings were demolished. The Court House was shat- 
tered; a church was riddled; porches and pillars of dwellings 
were smashed and many houses shot through; but the holes 
could easily be repaired. Most noticeable were the groups 
of caves in which during the nights, and often during the 
days when the shelling was severe, women and children 
found refuge.* 

Vicksburg captured, Grant sent Sherman to attack Johns- 
ton who had returned to Jackson, and prepared to take Port 
Hudson, the last rebel stronghold on the Mississippi Eiver. 
Johnston fled eastward; Port Hudson surrendered to Banks* 
who came up from 'N&w Orleans with his army, and, in the 
words of Lincoln, "The Father of Waters again goes unvexed 
to the sea." 

* Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 16, 1863. London Times, July 
29, 1863. 




THE draft of 1862 was a failure. It had indeed done 
muck Roused by what was felt to "be the stigma of con- 
scription, the people by bounties, by solicitation, by appeals, 
had greatly stimulated volunteering and much reduced the 
deficits to supply which it was made. Yet the quotas had 
not been filled. "Not all the Governors, it was felt, had been 
sufficiently energetic. Enrollment had been too slow. Re- 
sistance had been too tenderly treated. Again and again 
draft day had been put off for no valid reason. If the losses 
in the armies were to be made good, and made good they 
must be ; some measure for compulsory service far more 
effective than the drafting of 1862 must speedily be pro- 
vided. Congress undertook to provide such a measure and 
March third Lincoln signed what came to be known as the 
Conscription Act. Henceforth the Federal Government, 
not the Governors, would enforce the drafts. All able-bodied 
male citizens of the United States, and aliens who* had de- 
clared their intention to become citizens, from the boy of 
twenty to- the man of forty-five, were made its national force 
subject to duty whenever the President called, within two 
years, and liable to be held to service for three. Every 
Congressional District, the District of Columbia, every Ter- 
ritory, was made a district for the purpose of conscription. 
Over each must be a Provost-Marshal and over all a Provost- 
Marshal-General at Washington. In each must be an En- 
rolling Board of three to see that the nam of every man of 
fighting age was duly listed and to conduct the draft. "Not 
all who were enrolled could be held. Physical causes for 
exemption were many. 2sTo one who found an acceptable 
substitute need go. ISTo one who paid three hundred dollars 
need go. The only son of a widowed mother dependent on 
him for support; the only son of aged and infirm parents; 

1863 EXEMPTION. 405 

the father of motherless children under twelve; the only 
brother of children nnder twelve dependent on him for sup- 
port was exempt. Where there were in the family a father 
and several sons, and any two were in service two others, if 
so many, were exempt. Where two or more sons of aged and 
infirm parents were conscripted, the father if living, or if 
dead the mother, must decide which one should stay at 
home. The Vice-President of the United States, judges of 
all United States Courts, heads of Executive Departments, 
and Governors of the States were not to be enrolled. All 
persons who were enrolled must be placed in either of two 
classes. In the First Class were to be those from twenty to 
thirty-five years of age, and all unmarried men from thirty- 
five to- forty-five. In the Second Class, not to be drawn from 
until the First Class was exhausted, were to be the married 
men from thirty-five to forty-five, 

As quickly as the Provost-Marshal, the Enrolling Boards 
and the enrollers who were to go from house to house and 
take the names of men of fighting age could be appointed the 
work of enrolling began. For months past warnings of 
trouble had reached Washington. There was in Indiana a 
secret organization to encourage desertion and protect de- 
serters of whom twenty-six hundred had been arrested within 
a few weeks. Most of them had deserted with arms in their 
hands. Seventeen occupied a log cabin, with palings and 
ditch for defense and were fed by people in the neighbor- 
hood.* Two hundred in Rush County had prevented the 
arrest of some deserters. f These men would surely seek to 
prevent conscription. From Des Moines came word that 
Knights of the Golden Circle, calling themselves the Union 
Eelief Society, had organized in every township in Clarke 
County ; had signs and passwords ; had arms stored in houses, 
and were bound by oath to defy the execution of the law 
whether by State or by Federal authorities.^ From Iowa 
City came word that the Knights were spread widely over the 
State. Their purpose was to embarrass the Government by 

* January 24, 1863. Official Records, Series 3, voL iii, p. 19. 

t March 19, 1863. Ibid., p. 75. 

$ February 24, 1863. Ibid., pp. 68-69. 



encouraging desertion; discouraging enlistment and resist- 
ing conscription.* So open was the movement that the 
Governor made it the subject of a proclamation. Men from 
the rebel army, he said, and guerrillas who had been plunder- 
ing and killing Union men in Missouri, had taken refuge 
in Iowa and were seeking to array citizens in armed re- 
sistance to law, to induce soldiers to desert, and the people to 
prevent the arrest of deserters telling them certain laws were 
unconstitutional and might lawfully be withstood. Let them 
take heed, for the laws would be enforced at any cost and 
at all hazards, f The Governor of Illinois gave warning 
that extraordinary preparations were making and a great 
traffic in arms and ammunition was going on within the 
State. $ In Pennsylvania there were several organizations. 
The members of one, in Bucks County, met in taverns, pri- 
vate houses, schoolhouses, barns, and all were sworn to resist 
the draft. ISTobody was surprised, therefore, when it was 
announced that the maltreatment of enrollers had begun; 
that one had been forced to stop taking names ; that another 
had been shot ; that the sawmill of a third had been burned, 
a fourth given three minutes to quit, the barn of a fifth 
destroyed, and two assaulted in Pottsville. ]STobody would 
serve in the mining regions lest his property be injured. 
Even the coal operators were terrorized and would not give 
the names of the leaders in resistance lest their breakers 
be burned. Two thousand miners were reported to be or- 
ganized and armed. Enrollers were overawed by threaten- 
ing letters and assaulted in Delaware. There was oppo- 
sition in Newark, !N~ew Jersey; in New Hampshire, in 

Reports from the Western States told a like story. En- 
rollers were attacked by the men, egged by the women, and 
forced to resign in five counties in Ohio ; two were murdered 
in Indiana. Rioters arrested for acts of violence were taken 
from the hands of the law. Men whose names were on the 

* Official Records, Series 3, vol. iii, pp. 66-67, March 13, 1863. 

f Ibid., pp. 82-83, March 23, 1863. 

JIbid., p. 116, April 3, 1863. 

Ibid., pp. 34, 75, 322-323, 324, 325, 330, 382, 383, 384, 400. 


rolls fled from Toledo, Sandusky, Cleveland. But nowhere 
did violence reach, such proportions as in the City of New 
York Towards the end of June positive assurance came to 
the Governor that a conspiracy was on foot to prevent a 
draft. Hastening to the city he was informed that some 
eighteen hundred deserters had handed together and, joined 
by Copperheads, would attack the arsenal and the armory 
of the Seventh Eegiment just after midnight on the night 
of July third, when the beginning of the noisy celebration 
of the Fourth would afford them protection.* Guards were 
placed in the threatened buildings; but nothing happened 
until drafting began on the eleventh of July. The day, 
the time and the district were ill-chosen. The day was 
Saturday. Twenty-five militia regiments of 'New York and 
Brooklyn which could have kept order were in Baltimore or 
with Meade; and the district was largely inhabited by la- 
borers of foreign birth. During Saturday no trouble oc- 
curred. The number to be drawn was the quota of the 
District and fifty per cent more to allow for exemptions. 
The manner of proceeding was to write the name of each 
enrolled man, his residence and his color, on a piece of 
paper which, folded and bound with a rubber band was 
placed in the "wheel," a revolving hollow drum standing on 
a platform. The wheel was then turned, a blindfolded man 
put his bare arm through the little door and drew out one 
packet which was opened and the name read aloud and writ- 
ten in a book. The operation was repeated until some twelve 
hundred were drawn when further proceedings were post- 
poned until Monday. On Monday, few went to work but, 
armed with clubs, staves, cart rungs, pieces of iron, they 
gathered on vacant lots and moved as if by agreement to a 
lot near Central Park where they divided into bands and 
proceeded to patrol the city. One band, said to number two 
thousand, headed by a man beating a copper pan, passed 
down Fifth Avenue to Forty-sixth Street and thence to 
Fourth Avenue, tore up the tracks of the New York, New 
Haven and Harlem Railroad, cut down poles lest telegrams 
calling for troops be sent to Albany, and then went on to 

York Herald, July 6, 1863. 


the Provost-Marshal's office at Forty-third Street and Third 

There the draft was proceeding quietly. But some of the 
mob pushed into the office; a pistol was fired without; a 
stone crashed through a window; a crowd rushed into the 
room, chased the Provost-Marshal and his clerks into the 
yard and over the back fence, wrecked the wheel, tore into 
pieces the books and papers, destroyed the furniture^ poured 
turpentine on the floor and set it on fire. The building was 
soon in flames. Firemen were quick to arrive, but the mob 
would not suffer them to work and the flames spread to 
adjoining frame buildings. The Chief Engineer mounted 
a table and appealed to the mob. It was finally agreed that 
the firemen might strive to put out the fire. The police, 
unaware of this agreement, now advanced. Thinking an 
attack was intended the mob met them with stones, bricks, 
clubs, and drove them away. Six houses were destroyed. 

This done a cry "to the arsenal" was raised ; but before 
the rioters were well under way some forty armed men from 
the Park Barracks were seen approaching. They were at- 
tacked with stones and bricks, fired their muskets and ran. 
The mob gave chase, killed a few and beat many. Pursuing 
its way to the arsenal a stop was made to burn the Bull's 
Head Tavern and the Colored Orphan Asylum at Forty- 
third Street and Lexington Avenue. About three o'clock in 
the afternoon the arsenal at Twenty-first Street and Second 
Avenue was reached. Within were forty policemen and 
fifteen armed workmen. The mob attempted to beat in the 
door, the defenders fired a volley which killed five, and fled. 
The crowd then rushed in, threw out muskets, caps, car- 
tridges and set fire to the building. 

In the Eighth District the draft began on Monday morn- 
ing in a building on Broadway two doors from Twenty- 
ninth Street and was proceeding quietly when the rioters 
appeared, wrecked it, ransacked shop after shop on Broad- 
way and one after another set them on fire. Twelve were 
burned. The Mayor's home on Fifth Avenue was next 
visited. There Judge Barnard addressed the mob; de- 
nounced the Conscription Act as unconstitutional and an act 



of despotism; promised that the Courts would protect the 
lights of citizens, and hoped no damage would be done to 
the residence of the lawfully elected Mayor. The mob 
listened and moved off. 

Tuesday found the city in the hands of the rioters, joined 
by thieves and ruffians. During the day the homes o 
Mayor Opdyke and of the postmaster were sacked and a 
private residence stripped of furniture and clothing. Aller- 
ton's Hotel was destroyed, the clothing store of Brooks on 
Catherine Street was sacked, the Weehawken Eerry house 
burned, and an attack made on a factory because the owner 
refused to shut down at the bidding of the mob. Negroes 
became especial objects of vengeance, were hunted down and 
beaten, and their houses and little shops looted and de- 
stroyed. Some were found hidden under the piers along the 
East River. Hundreds fled to Blackwells Island and hid In 
the woods. More crossed the Hudson and sought safety in 
the groves near the Elysian Eields, and in those bordering 
the roads leading to Newark Bay and Bergen Point, and the 
Haekensack and Paterson Plank Koad. A captain in the 
eleventh regiment having been caught was hanged to a 
lamp-post. After nightfall the gas house at the East Eiver 
was seized, attacks made on the police station house, and a 
drug store was sacked and burned as was the home of the 
publisher of the Tribune. There was a riot in South Street 
Webb's shipyard was seized, and attempts made to burn 
houses in Twenty-ninth and in the Eirst Ward where Alder- 
man Eox addressed the mob, and declared that official notice 
had been received that the draft was suspended. 

Meantime the law-abiding element was not idle. During 
the afternoon most of .the stores were closed, and merchants 
and bankers met to consider what to do. The chairman re- 
minded those present that the times were momentous, that 
the upper part of the city had been sacked and some of it 
given to the flames by mobs ; that the city authorities were at 
work devising means to put down the riot ; and that it was 
the duty of every able-bodied man to aid them to crush riot 
and rebellion, and called on all to consult in reference to the 
proper measures to be taken. Thereupon it was moved that 



when treason against the G-overnment is rampant, when 
rebellion against the city authorities is defiant, when the 
residence of the Mayor is sacked by a mob, when orphan 
asylums and private dwellings are robbed, the men of the 
city and State who prize government, respect law, and love 
good order should rise in their might and at any cost of blood 
and treasure crush the traitors and outlaws. It was the 
duty of citizens to stand by and assist the city authorities ; 
it was the duty of every able-bodied man to tender his 
services, and merchants, bankers and others should be re- 
quested to afford their employees the opportunity to assist. 
The resolution was carried as was another urging the mer- 
chants to close their shops and places of business at four 
o'clock that afternoon. 

Handbills had already been posted in Wall Street and 
the lower part of the city. They read: "Merchants, Bank- 
ers, Merchants' Clerks and others, meet for organization and 
enrollment at the Merchants' Exchange, 111 Broadway, to 
take immediate action in the present crisis. The military 
is now engaged with the mob ! The Mayor's house is being 
sacked and burned down!" 

A noisy crowd having gathered before the City Hall, Gov- 
ernor Seymour addressed it. "I beg you/' he said, "to 
listen to me as your friend, for I am your friend and the 
friend of your families. I implore you to take car that 
no man's property or person is injured. I rely on you to 
defend the peace and good order of the city, and if you dtf 
this and refrain from further riotous acts, I will see to it 
that your rights shall be protected. On Saturday last I sent 
the Adjutant-General of the State to Washington to urge 
postponement of the draft. The question of the legality of 
the Conscription Act will go before the Courts, and the 
decision, whatever it may be, must be obeyed. If the Act be 
declared legal I pledge myself, the State and the city author- 
ities to see that there shall be no inequality between the rich 
and poor." 

He further pledged himself that money should be raised 
for the relief of those who were unable to protect their own 
interests, and asked the rioters to disperse and leave their 



interests in his hands. On complaint of an enrolling officer 
a certain man was arrested and brought before Judge Mc- 
Cunn, during the previous week Decision was given al- 
most while the Governor was promising that the Conscrip- 
tion Act should be tested in the Courts. The Judge held it 
unconstitutional because it violated the rights of the people, 
created a distinction between the people, and was contrary 
to the Constitution of the United States. In authorizing 
Congress to raise and support armies^ the Constitution pro- 
vided only for standing armies and not for the volunteer and 
temporary forces which any emergency might demand. The 
only forces the President could use, besides the regular army, 
were the volunteers and militia contributed by the individual 

By Wednesday rioting had spread to Troy where three 
hundred men from the Eensselaer Iron Works and the 
Albany Nail Works marched about the streets declaring no 
draft should be made, sacked the Times office, threatened 
the African Church, broke open the jail and released the 
prisoners. Such was the excitement that a Hudson Eiver 
steamboat, with its negro waiters, left Troy and took refuge 
at Albany. 

Fearing resistance to the draft might spread, the Governor 
of Connecticut appealed to patriotic citizens to organize two 
or three battalions to be armed and equipped for three 
months' service unless sooner discharged. The Governor 
of Rhode Island ordered troops to protect the property of 
the State and prevent disturbance of the peace. The Gover- 
nor of New Jersey reminded the people that violence does 
not restore individual rights, nor remedy real or fancied 
wrongs. The law furnished ample remedy. Hobs often 
originated, without premeditation, from the accidental 
gathering of crowds. In this time of excitement, therefore, 
he called on all citizens of New Jersey to avoid angry dis- 
cussion, discourage assemblies of the people, and put forth 
every effort to keep the peace. 

In Newark the mob sacked the office of the Mercury; and 
broke the windows of the home of the Provost-Marshal ; * 

* Official Records, Series 3, vol. iii, p. 489. 


in Trenton resistance was feared * and the Provost-Marshal 
ordered that drafting be postponed, f 

In New York, during the day, the riot showed signs of 
dying out. There was less violence but much looting. The 
anger of the mob was vented chiefly on the negroes who 
were hunted down, stoned and beaten, their houses almost 
demolished and some two hundred made homeless. Wed- 
nesday night the mob came into York Street with carts, and 
driving the negroes into the yards carried off furniture and 
household goods. About midnight their houses were de- 

The whole body of citizens was then suffering from the 
acts of the rioters. Business was interrupted; shops were 
closed; omnibuses stopped running because their drivers 
were forced to quit work ; street cars were no longer operated 
because their tracks were torn up, and the Gas Company was 
compelled to appeal to the people to be as sparing in the use 
of gas as possible because its men had been driven from 
the works and the supply was getting low. The Alderman 
and Common Council at a special meeting unanimously 
passed "An Ordinance to relieve the citizens of !N"ew York 
from the unequal operation of conscription and to encourage 
volunteers." By it the Comptroller was authorized to pay 
three hundred dollars for each person drafted and found 
unable to raise that sum for exemption. If any one drafted 
should volunteer to serve three years or during the war, the 
Comptroller was to give him three hundred dollars for the 
benefit of his family. Two and one half million dollars 
were to be borrowed on the credit of the city by an issue of 
bonds redeemable in twenty years. 

Despite the doings of the day, the Mayor announced that 
the riot was in good measure under control; that, save for 
the absence of the militia the peace of the city would not 
have been broken for an hour. The mob had parted into 
bands prowling for plunder. To meet these, and relieve the 
police and militia from exhaustion, he invited citizens to 
form associations to patrol the streets, maintain order, and 

* Official Records, Series 3, vol. iii, p. 496. 
t Ibid. 


guard and protect property. All others were urged to re- 
sume their usual occupations. Omnibuses, railways, tele- 
graph lines must be put in full operation at once. "The laws 
must and shall "be obeyed." 

Troops which had been Lurried to Pennsylvania, and as 
hastily hurried home, now hegan to arrive. Between the 
night of Wednesday and that of Thursday, five regiments 
reached the city. Thursday, therefore, was a day of com- 
parative quiet, though some looting was done. All stores 
along the east side remained closed ; great excitement among 
the negroes continued, and there was fierce fighting with the 
troops. Archbishop Hughes,, confined to his house by rheu- 
matism, invited the mob to visit him at his residence on 
the corner of Madison Avenue and Thirty-sixth Street The 
invitation was addressed: "To the men of Few York who 
are now called, in many of the papers, Rioters." 

The presence of the troops put an end to violence and 
looting, traffic was resumed, shops were opened, business be- 
came normal and the week closed in peace and quiet. 
Seventy-six persons, the Coroner's office reported, had been 
killed. Sunday no troops appeared on the streets; all the 
wards were quiet; and great crowds gathered to gaze at the 
buildings burned and wrecked by the rioters. 

During the following week the police were busy recovering 
stolen property, household furniture, groceries, dry goods. 
The Merchants' Relief Committee for Suffering Colored 
People began to solicit contributions, and the Provost-Mar- 
shals, whose offices had been destroyed, sought in vain for 
places in which to transact their business. In the [Ninth 
District, where the only enrollment list was destroyed, the 
enrolling officers declined to repeat their house to house 
visits. Response to the appeal for aid for the despoiled and 
ruined negroes was prompt. Within a few days thirty thou- 
sand dollars were given. Distribution began at once; law- 
yers offered their services to prosecute claims against the 
city for damages, and by the middle of August these 
amounted to a million three hundred thousand dollars. 

In Philadelphia the draft began in the Fourth Congres- 
sional District on July fifteenth. The quota was five hun- 


dred and seventy-five, which, when tlie usual fifty per cent 
was added to allow for exemptions, made eight hundred and 
sixty-two names to be drawn from three thousand on the en- 
rollment sheet. To make the drawing as fair as possible and 
satisfy the people that men of all walks in life, physicians, 
lawyers, tradesmen, ministers, brokers, workingmen, were 
subject to the draft, a platform was built on the corner of 
Broad and Spring Garden streets, the wheel placed upon it, 
and into the wheel was dropped in the presence of the 
crowds gathered about the platform, and of representatives 
of both political parties standing on it, the name of each 
enrolled man written on a piece of paper enclosed in a sealed 
envelope. A blindfolded man then thrust his bare arm into 
the wheel and drew out an envelope which was torn open, 
the name read aloud and written down by the clerks. The 
slip of paper after examination by all on the platform was 
handed down to be passed about among those in the crowd. 
Wot in every district was the drawing made in the street. 
But everywhere pains were taken to convince the public 
that no partiality was shown. The Government, it was ex- 
plained, requires a certain number of men from a certain 
district. To this is added a third or a half to allow for 
the exemptions or disabilities provided by law. The drawing 
goes on until the necessary number is obtained. There is no 
subsequent drawing. The Enrollment Board then meets to 
ascertain who are exempt, and who will pay three hundred 
dollars. On the enrollment list the places of men who buy 
exemption are left blank. Poor men do not have to go in 
their stead. The Government will use the money to hire 
substitutes. If this fails then so many less soldiers go from 
the district.* 

The people of "New Hampshire were excited because the 
unit of draft was the Congressional District and not the 
town, so excited that the legislature by joint resolution asked 
that it be changed. Organizations to prevent service of 
notice of draft were reported to exist in northern Uew 
Hampshire and Vermont. Indeed, when an attempt was 
made to* serve them on the quarrymen at Rutland the servers 

* New York Herald, July 25, 1863. 


were stoned and driven away. So high, did feeling run in 
New York that in many places, Albany, Troy, Dtica, Roch- 
ester, Buffalo, it was not thought safe to draft until troops 
could be spared to keep order. The Provost-Marshal-General 
had such evidence of the existence of organizations to resist 
in New Jersey that he put off drafting for the present. 
Fear of the Knights of the Golden Circle in Indiana led to 
an order to the Provost-Marshal at Indianapolis to hide his 
books and enrollment sheets where domestic enemies could 
not find them, if the militia were withdrawn. The Governor 
of Illinois asked for five regiments. The people, he said, 
seemed ripe for revolution. Two thirds of the population 
of Milwaukee, the Provost-Marshal wrote, were foreigners 
opposed to the war and the Government, and so moused by 
politicians that mob violence was certain as soon as the draft 
began. Business men occupying buildings in the block in 
which was his office had requested him to go elsewhere lest 
their property be destroyed.* 

August nineteenth drafting was resumed in 'New York. 
The city, it was said, resembled a beleaguered town. Thirty 
thousand troops, it was popularly believed, were in it. Cav- 
alry rode up and down the streets, arsenals and armories 
were crowded with soldiers, the militia of the city and of 
Brooklyn were out and batteries of artillery were ready for ac- 
tion. No trouble was made. 

When all returns were in it appeared that 292,441 names 
were drawn from the wheels and that 39,877 men had failed 
to report, leaving 252,564 for examination. For one reason 
and another 164,394 were exempted, leaving for duty 88,lTQ, 
of whom 52,288 purchased exemption which yielded the Gov- 
ernment $15,686,400, and left but 35,882 men for service. 
Of these 26,002 were substitutes. 

To test the constitutionality of the Conscript Act a bill 
in equity praying an injunction to restrain the Provost-Mar- 
shal from taking into service a drafted man was filed in the 
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The Court held the Act 

* Official Records, Series 3, voL iii, pp. 481, 491, 492, 513, 526, 529, 
530, 534, 540, 565, 566, 574, 625, 665. Series 1, vol. xxvii, Part 2, 
pp. 930, 934, 936. 


to be unconstitutional. The constitutional provision vesting 
in Congress power to raise and equip armies did not include 
power to draft title militia; the power of Congress to call 
forth the militia could not be exercised in the manner pro- 
vided in the Act; a citizen of Pennsylvania could not be 
subjected to the rules and articles of war until he was in 
active military service; he was not placed in such service 
when his name was drawn from a wheel and ten days ? notice 
thereof served on him ; a Congressional draft to suppress in- 
surrection was an innovation that had no warrant in the 
text of the Constitution. 

While the draft was still under way, indeed, before it had 
begun in some States, Lincoln, October seventeenth, called 
for another three hundred thousand volunteers. They were 
to be raised by the Governors, were to serve for three years 
or the war, and were needed because the term of service of a 
part of the old volunteers would expire during 1864. In such 
States as failed to raise their quotas by volunteering, the 
deficits would be made good by a draft on the fifth of Janu- 
ary, 1864. Again desperate efforts were made to get the 
men without a draft. The Government offered veterans 
who reentered the army four hundred and two, and new men 
three hundred and two dollars bounty. The two dollars were 
the usual "hand money" paid when the recruit enlisted. 
Massachusetts offered three hundred and twenty-five dollars 
in hand, or fifty in hand and twenty a month so long as 
the soldier served, but not exceeding three years. Three 
hundred were offered by the City of New York. The State 
bounty was seventy-five. A veteran who reenlisted would 
thus become entitled to receive as bounty from City, State 
and the Federal Government, seven hundred and seventy- 
seven dollars. Jersey City raised hers to three hundred and 
fifty because that sum was offered by IsTewark. Philadelphia 
promised two hundred; but it was thought too little. Who, 
it was asked, would be content with this when, by crossing 
the Delaware, he can get two hundred and seventy in Cam- 
den? Supposing that not more than one man in six would 
be drafted, numbers of "Patriotic Clubs" of six members 
each were formed in Cincinnati. Each man contributed fifty 


dollars. Should one of them be drawn the money was to 
be used to buy his exemption.* In the Confederacy, as well 
as in the ItSTorth, patriotism had long ceased to supply the 
needs of the army. The passage of the Exemption Act in 
April, 1862, had been followed by a rush of men, liable to 
conscription, into every occupation that could save them from 
service in the field. Schools sprang up in such numbers that 
in almost every county in some States, it was said, enough 
teachers could be found to make a company. f Men with lit- 
tle fitness, or with none at all, turned to teaching and served 
for a pittance, or for nothing, content if they could get the 
twenty scholars necessary to secure exemption. Drug stores 
increased and multiplied. Unable to get drugs, and too 
ignorant to compound them if they had been obtainable, the 
proprietors dealt "in everything from strawberries and 
watermelons up to sugar, coffee, molasses and spun cotton in- 
cluding cards." J "A few empty jars, a cheap assortment of 
combs and brushes, a few bottles of 'hair dye ? and Vizard oil' 
and other Yankee nostrums is about the only evidence of 
their being 'apothecaries in good standing.' " Petty offices, 
Confederate and State, were eagerly sought by men anxious 
to serve as postmasters in little towns, constables, coroners, 
deputy bailiffs. |] Cotton and woolen mills, railroads, salt 
making, tanning and gunsmithing gave exemption to thou- 
sands of men of draft age. As the law then stood all resi- 
dents within the prescribed ages were liable to conscription. 
Construing the term to include aliens who had acquired 
domicile, the Secretary of War directed they be enrolled, 
unless the facts in the case, and not the oath of the party 
concerned, proved him to be an alien, f and thousands made 
haste to obtain consular certificates. Before hostilities 
broke out, said a newspaper, foreigners were scarcely to be 
found. Wow they were everywhere. "Nearly every town 
and city in the South is full of this class of persons, most of 

* Cincinnati Commercial, November 20, 1863. 

t A. B. Moore, Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy, p. 55. 


Ibid., p. 56. Columbus Weekly Sun, September 2, 1862. 

|| A. B. Moore, Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy, p. 56. 

II Ibid.,, pp. 59, 60. 


them able-bodied young men who voted at our elections two 
years ago, and who ought to be in the tented field in defense 
of the Government of their adoption." * Still others found 
safety by wandering from State to State, for no man could 
be conscripted without the limits of the State of which he 
was a citizen. 

Secretary Eandolph complained of this. Men, he held, 
should be enrolled wherever found, and should not be al- 
lowed to escape conscription by crossing a boundary line 
and getting beyond the jurisdiction of a particular enrolling 
officer, f Congress granted authority to enroll such evaders. 
Conscription, it was true, did not send many troops to the 
army, but it held the twelve months' men in the ranks at the 
very time they were preparing to go home, induced thousands 
of young men to volunteer, saved the army and greatly con- 
tributed to McClellan's defeat. $ Four months ago, the Sec- 
retary said, our army was weak and disorganized, yielding 
the sea coast, mines, mountain posts, grain fields, even whole 
States. ISFow we are advancing and the enemy is defeated, 
disheartened and sheltering himself behind defensive works 
and in gun boats. Nevertheless the Act needed amendment. 
He would have the buying of substitutes stopped ; it led to 
great abuses and the men so obtained were generally worth- 
less and often deserted. He would have farmers, millers, salt 
makers exempt. He would have exemption limited to those 
whose work at home was far more important than any service 
they could render in the field. 

Davis sent all these suggestions to Congress, asked that 
the age limit for conscription be extended to forty-five years, 
and that he be given authority to call out men from thirty- 
five to forty-five, and by a new act some changes were made. 
The age limit was extended, and the causes for exemption 
greatly increased; but substitution and the use of State 

* A. B. Moore, Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy, p. 61. 
Columbus Weekly Sun. 

f Official Records, Series 4 -vol. ii, pp. 42-43. Report to Davis, 
August 12, 1862. 

$ Richmond Enquirer, June 20, 1862. Richmond Examiner, Septem- 
ber 12, 1862. October 1, 6, 1862. 

Official Records, Series 4, vol. ii, pp. 42-43. 


officers as enrollers were retained.* Exemption for physical 
disability was a privilege much abused. So easy was it to 
obtain certificates from physicians at home that orders were 
issued to pay no heed to such papers, nor to discharges from 
service granted before the Conscription Act was passed. 
Conscripts must be examined at the instruction camps "by 
surgeons especially detailed for that service. Substitutes 
must be of a class not liable to conscription, must be phys- 
ically fit, must not be aliens nor boys under seventeen. As 
a class they proved of little worth. Having collected the 
bounty of a hundred dollars, and a much greater sum, which 
conscripts whose place they took in the ranks were forced to 
pay, they deserted in such numbers that the Department of 
War was forced to rule that if a substitute were lost, save by 
the fortunes of war, the man for whom he stood at once 
became liable for service, f Nevertheless they were much in 
demand. Having secured one, the conscript must report with 
his substitute at some camp of instruction and obtain a dis- 
charge from the commanding officer. $ This led to fraud. 
Men pretending to be officers from distant camps sold ficti- 
tious substitute acceptances, and found so many buyers that 
detectives were employed, by the Department of War, to run 
down the miscreants and put an end to the fraud. 

Resistance to the enforcement of the law made by Gov- 
ernors, gave Davis much concern. Letcher of Yirginia bade 
the superintendent of the Military Institute give up no cadet 
until the Conscription Act had been definitely declared to be 
constitutional. The Secretary of War, quite sure Letcher 
did not seek "collisions between the authorities of the State 
and the Confederacy," proposed that the question be tested 
in the Supreme Court of the State. || It was tried, the Act 
was declared to be constitutional, and the Governor made no 
further objection to the conscription of the cadets. South 
Carolina had a conscription act of her own. After the pas- 
sage of the Confederate Conscription Act the two conflicted, 

* Act of October 11, 1862. 

f Official Eecords, Series 4, vol. ii, p, 648. 

j Ibid., vol. i, p. 1099. 

Ibid., vol. ii, pp. 582, 583, 808. 

|| Ibid,, vol. ii, p. 123. 


the State authorities insisted that men exempt under the 
South Carolina law should be exempt under the Confederate 
law, and when a new enrollment was ordered by Confederate 
officers the Governor and Council made ready to countervail 
it* Davis protested. He had been informed, he said, that 
orders were about to be issued countermanding those of offi- 
cers charged with enrollment in South Carolina; that the 
Governor and Council insisted that exemption granted by the 
State should be accepted by the Confederate Government. 
If he did not misapprehend the meaning of this, the right 
was broadly asserted that the State might, at her pleasure, 
relieve a portion of her citizens from obedience to laws of the 
Confederate Congress. To assert such a right on the part of a 
State was to deny the right of the Confederate Government to 
use its delegated powers, and if carried into execution would 
make a confederacy an impracticable form of Government. 
If a State might free her citizens from military duty, she 
might free them from taxes, from any lawful duty, any pay- 
ment, any service required "by the Government of the Con- 
federacy. The exemption claimed related solely to State 
troops, was granted long before the passage of the Conscrip- 
tion Act and had nothing whatever to do with it.f 

So serious had desertion become by the end of 1862 that 
the commanding officer at Dahlonega, Georgia, made it the 
subject of a general order. He had been informed that a 
number of deserters, Tories, conscripts were resisting the 
law in northern and northeastern Georgia, and southwestern 
North Carolina, and had sent a force to put down any in- 
surrectionary movement^ arrest skulkers and restore tran- 
quillity to that part of the country. Such malcontents as 
should report to him within ten days would be put into such 
companies, battalions and regiments on the coast as were 
not full, or organized into companies for defense of Atlanta. 
Should they persist in their desertion he would pursue them 
into their mountain fastnesses, and use all the power he pos- 
sessed to arrest and bring them to punishment. The order 

* Official Becords, Series 4, vol. ii, p. 73. 

t Ibid., p. 74. Davis to the Governor of South Carolina, September 
3, 1862. 



ended with an appeal to accept the offer of amnesty, array 
themselves under the banner of their country, and prove the 
Southern blood flowing in their veins by repelling the rapa- 
cious invader of their soil* 

Like conditions in North Carolina brought a proclamation 
from Governor Vance. He was told, he said, by generals in 
the field, that desertion in the army was alarmingly on the 
increase, and they had called on him to check it among the 
troops from North Carolina. From the day he became Gov- 
ernor he had tried to do so, but great difficulties* interposed. 
There was great difficulty in organizing raw and inexperi- 
enced militia, and making them efficient in arresting armed 
soldiers, their friends, neighbors and kindred. After getting 
them in shape there was a fight between a squad of his offi- 
cers and deserters and conscripts in Yadkin County. Two 
of his officers were killed. The slayers were arrested, im- 
prisoned, brought on a writ of habeas corpus before the 
Chief Justice and released. No authority to arrest deserters 
had been vested in the Governor by express enactment. The 
power, the Chief Justice held, belonged alone to the Con- 
federacy. Therefore the men had committed no offense in 
resisting. News of this decision reached the army. The 
soldiers understood that the Justice had declared the con- 
script law unconstitutional; that if they deserted they could 
not be arrested, and, "desertion which had been temporarily 
checked broke out again worse than before/' The causes 
were homesickness, fatigue, hard fare, failure to redeem the 
promise that conscripts should have furloughs, and refusal 
to allow them to join regiments of their choice in which 
were their friends and relatives. He ended by urging citi- 
zens to aid him in the arrest and return of deserters.f 

General Pillow, Superintendent of the Volunteer and 
Conscript Bureau, reported that from eight thousand to ten 
thousand deserters were in the mountains of Alabama. 
Many had deserted the second, third or fourth time. To keep 
them in the army so near home was impossible. As fast as 

* General Order No. 1, January 26, 1863. Headquarters DaWonega. 
t Proclamation, May 11, 1863. Official Records, Series 1, vol. ii, 
Part 2, pp. 709-710. 


they were caught and sent back they would desert again, 
bring off their arms, and steal from their comrades as much 
ammunition as they could carry. These "deserters and Tory 
conscripts" had banded together; were "as vicious as 'cop- 
perheads'"; had killed several officers and driven small 
bodies of cavalry from the mountains." 54 ' 

Losses in the seven days' battles around Richmond, at the 
second Bull Bun, and at Antietam led the Confederate Con- 
gress to extend the age of Conscription to- forty-five years.f 
For a while no men over forty were taken. But the thou- 
sands killed, wounded and captured at Gettysburg and 
Vicksburg was a heavy blow to the Confederate army; con- 
scription was at once extended to men of forty-five,^ and 
both Lee and Davis appealed to deserters and absentees. 
By a general order Lee bade all officers and soldiers absent 
from duty return at once. To remain at home, he said, in 
this hour of your country's need is unworthy of the manhood 
of the Southern soldier. Davis sent forth an appeal to the 
soldiers of the Confederate States. 

After two years of warfare, he said, your enemies continue 
a struggle in which our triumph must be inevitable. Unduly 
elated by recent success they are gathering heavy masses for 
a general invasion in the vain hope that by a desperate effort 
success may be reached. You know what they mean by suc- 
cess. Their malignant rage aims at nothing less than exter- 
mination of yourselves, your wives, your children. They 
seek to destroy what they cannot plunder. They propose 
that your homes shall be portioned among the wretches whose 
atrocious cruelties have stamped infamy on their Grovern- 
ment. They intend to incite servile insurrection and light 
the fires of incendiarism wherever they can reach your 
houses, and they debauch the servile race hitherto docile and 
contented by promising indulgence of the vilest passions as 
the price of treachery. ]STo alternative is left save victory 

* Marietta, Georgia, July 28, 1863. Official Records, Series 4, vol. ii, 
p. 681. 

t Act of September 27, 1862. 

$ Official Records, Series 4, vol. ii, pp. 635, 648, 

General Order No. 80, July 26, 1863. 


or subjugation, slavery,, and the utter ruin of yourselves, 
your families and your country. If all called to tlie field 
repair to the path of duty, victory is within your reach. If 
all now absent return to the ranks you will equal in number 
the invaders. Hasten, then, to your camps, summon those 
absent without leave, and those who have overstayed their 
furloughs. I grant a general amnesty and pardon to all 
officers and men who, now absent without leave, return to 
their posts within twenty days from the date of this procla- 
mation. Wives, mothers, sisters, daughters of the Confed- 
eracy were besought to use their powerful influence in aid 
of the call, and take care that none who owed service were 
sheltered at home."* 

Orders, addresses, appeals, were of no use. Nothing could 
allay the feeling in the army, after Gettysburg and Vicks- 
burg, that the end was near, that fighting could no longer 
put off the evil day. One who had been in the mountain 
region of Virginia found in Bedford, Botetourt, Roanoke, 
and many other counties a demoralized people. They 
thought and said, "We are beaten and bound to be overrun 
and subjugated." The army was dispirited and men desert- 
ing by hundreds. The upper counties of North Carolina 
were in much worse condition. Deserters, passing along the 
road daily, increased the despondency. They had guns and 
when halted and their furloughs demanded patted their guns 
and said: "This is my furlough/' They traveled in groups 
of from six to twenty. When food was wanted they de- 
manded it under threats of violence. Did any one give in- 
formation, his house was burned, and he waylaid and beaten 
or murdered. Many such cases were of recent occurrence. 
The people were cowed. They needed to be informed. The 
papers gave no information, and if they did were too costly 
to be bought, f 

Another wrote that all the North Carolina counties along 
the Tennessee border were infested with deserters, conscripts 
and Tories. They had gathered in the mountains and com- 
mitted depredations on peaceful citizens and wives of sol- 

* Richmond Enquirer, August 7, 1863. Official Becords, Series 4, 
vol. ii, p. 687. 

t Official Records, Series 4, vol. ii, pp. 721-722, August 14, 1863. 


diers. He asked that cavalry and Infantry "be sent from 
the army of Tennessee to break up the bands.* When the 
conscript service was organized one of its duties, the Inspec- 
tors wrote, was to collect and forward deserters and skulkers. 
This was under the belief that they would be found lurking 
about singly, unarmed, and not supported by local opinion. 
But desertion had assumed such proportions in some parts 
of North Carolina that no force at hand could cope with it. 
Deserters were armed, acted in concert, forced the passage of 
bridges and ferries despite the guards, reached their hiding 
places, and organized in bands of from fifty to a hundred. In 
Cherokee County, the Governor believed a band had taken 
possession of a town and exercised a sort of military occupa- 
tion. In "Withers County five hundred were in an entrenched 
camp, were organized and drilled. Patrols reported four 
hundred organized In Randolph County. Large numbers 
were in Catawba, Yadkin and Iredell. "Not only did they 
kill when resisting arrest, but in revenge. The disaffected 
fed them from sympathy; the loyal from fear. Letters went 
to the army encouraging desertion, urging men to come home 
and promising protection. Generals and Governors, editors 
and politicians, meantime, offered advice as to how the army 
might be enlarged. Force deserters and stragglers, they 
said, to return; withdraw garrisons from cities and towns 
where they were not needed; abolish sinecure government of- 
fices and put the holders of them in the ranks ; consolidate 
depleted regiments and send the surplus officers to duty at the 
front f Order Into the army the almost countless swarm of 
young officers to be seen on every railroad train and in every 
hotel lobby. $ Johnston would substitute negroes for detailed 

* Official Records, Series 4, vol. ii, p. 733, August 13, 1863. 

t A. B. Moore, Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy, p. 305. 

$ Governor Brown, Official Records, Series 4, vol. iii, p. 733. 

A. B. Moore, Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy, p. 307. 

1863 CHICKAMAUGA. 42 5 



Six months had now passed since Eosecrans entered 
Murfreesboro. Again and again Halleck and Stanton urged 
him to go forward but it was late in June before he put his 
army in motion, began a campaign of brilliant maneuvers, 
and in nine days, without fighting a pitched battle, forced 
the enemy out of middle Tennessee and back to Chattanooga. 
That the town should be captured had long been the wish of 
Lincoln and his military advisers. But again Eoseerans 
waited week after week until a peremptory order sent him 
forward in the middle of August. Without opposition, 
without a fight, one corps of his army crossed the Cumber- 
land Mountains and on the ninth of September entered the 
town from the west just as the rear guard of Bragg's army 
moved out towards the south, and, supposing the enemy in 
retreat, followed him some twelve miles up the valley. 
Meantime two other corps crossed Lookout Mountain by 
passes, one twenty-six, and one forty-two miles south of 
Chattanooga, and came down into the valley of the Chieka- 
mauga Eiver. Bragg did not retreat. He withdrew to 
Lafayette, and reenforced by troops from Knoxville, from 
Longstreet, from Johnston, might have fallen on the scat- 
tered army of Eosecrans and destroyed it corps by corps. He 
did not, and Eosecrans gathered his army as quickly as pos- 
sible and none too soon. For, on September nineteenth 
Bragg attacked and opened the battle of Chickamauga, "The 
Great Battle of the West" The fighting that day was des- 
perate, but not decisive ; was renewed on the following morn- 
ing, and all seemed going well when, by an unfortunate 
order from the bewildered Eosecrans, troops, were withdrawn 
from a part of the line, a gap was made, the enemy rushed 
in, scattered the right wing and swept it from the field. 

The right wing gone, Bragg turned on Thomas, the only 


general officer left on tlie field. He had but twenty-five 
thousand men. But., all that afternoon and until darkness 
ended the fight ? though beset in front and on his flanks by 
twice his number of men, withstood every assault, and with 
ammunition gone, repelled the last with bayonets and won 
for himself the proud title, "Bock of Chickamauga." Dur- 
ing the night Thomas withdrew, and by order of Kosecrans 
went to Chattanooga where the Union army was drawn up 
in a semi-circle around the town. Bragg followed, posted 
his army on Lookout Mountain, in the valley of Chattanooga 
Creek, on Missionary Ridge, and closed the short routes 
along which food could be brought to the Union army from 
Bridgeport. One way only was open and that, sixty miles 
long, across a rough and mountainous country, was difficult 
in the best of weather. But the rains came; the road was 
made all but impassable; Wheeler's cavalry raided it and 
destroyed several hundred wagons and animals. Such as 
were left were worked beyond endurance and hundreds died 
in the traces. "Ten thousand dead mules walled the sides 
of the road from Bridgeport to Chattanooga. Guards stood 
at the troughs of artillery horses to keep the soldiers from 
taking the scant supply of corn allowed these starving ani- 
mals." Many horses died from starvation and most of those 
that survived grew too weak for use in pulling the lightest 
guns.* Trains grew shorter in length, lighter in the load, 
fewer in number. Rations were cut, and the troops suf- 
fered from want of shoes and warm clothing. 

Bad as was the condition of the army a month passed and 
mid-October came before any attempt was made to relieve 
it. By that time Hooker had been sent from the Army 
of the Potomac with reinforcements; Sherman, with more 
troops, was on his way from Yicksburg; the Military Divi- 
sion of the Mississippi had been formed with Grant in com- 
mand; and Rosecrans had been removed and Thomas put 
in his place. When Grant arrived late in October, he found 
General William P. Smith had proposed a plan for shorten- 
ing the way to Bridgeport by many miles. A pontoon bridge 
was to be thrown across the river at Brown's Perry, com- 

* General Josept S. Fullerton, Battles and Leaders, vol. iii, p. 719. 


mand was to be secured of a road leading thence over Rac- 
coon Mountain, eight miles to Kelley's Ferry, and food 
brought there from Bridgeport by steamboat. Once there 
wagons could easily bring the supplies to Brown's Ferry, 
and on by road to Chattanooga. How the plan was carried 
out, how the enemy was driven back from the river, by what 
fighting the road was secured and held need not be told. 
Enough to know that it was done, that the "cracker line" was 
opened, and an end put to all fear that the army would be 
forced by hunger to surrender or retreat. 

Bragg, still sure that he held the Army of the Cumber- 
land in the hollow of his hand, now sent Longstreet to re- 
capture Enoxville and, it might be, Burnside and his army. 
In hopes of forcing Longstreet to return G-rant proposed to 
attack Bragg at once, but was induced to wait until Sher- 
man came. He came in the middle of November and on 
the twenty-fourth the attack was to begin. 

But a deserter brought word, on the night of the twenty- 
second, that Bragg was preparing to retreat. The next day 3 
Thomas, who held the center, was ordered to make a demon- 
stration. He was to feel the enemy's line and determine if' 
he was still in force. The movement was made, the enemy 
was driven from his advanced line of rifle pits, and from 
Orchard Knob, a steep rough hill which rose from Chat- 
tanooga Valley. Hooker was ordered to make a demon- 
stration against Lookout Mountain and if possible take it. 
The morning opened cold and drizzly. Clouds hid the moun- 
tain and coming far down its western slope concealed the 
movements of Hooker, as his men fought their way up its 
side to the plateau at the foot of a high palisade. Those 
on the plain below heard the sound of battle far above them, 
but saw nothing until the wind lifted the clouds for a few 
minutes and showed them that Hooker's men had won, "the 
battle above the clouds." 

Sherman was to take the north end of Missionary Eidge 
and attack Bragg's right. Some of the ridge was taken; 
but he did not reach his objective, the Tunnel Hill where the 
railroad passed under Missionary Eidge. That night Bragg 
withdrew his men from Lookout Mountain to strengthen his 

428 THE &&AOT) ADVANCE. CHAP. xvni. 

right. Before dawn the stars and stripes were planted on 
the summit of the mountain. At sunrise Sherman renewed 
Ms attack, again and again assaulted the Confederate works, 
was as often driven back, and "by afternoon had made no 
progress. Seeing him hard pressed Grant ordered Thomas 
to take a line of entrenchments running along the foot of 
Missionary Eidge and wait for orders. It was taken at the 
point of the bayonet. But the troops, finding they were 
exposed to a galling fire from another line halfway up the 
slope and a third on the crest, went on without orders, car- 
ried the second, chased the enemy up to the crest and put 
them to flight. The Eidge was won. 

Hooker that day came down the mountain, drove the 
enemy from Eossville, and turning north joined Thomas' 
right at sundown. During the night of the twenty-fifth 
Bragg began his retreat to Dalton, and on the following day 
Granger, with twenty thousand men, was sent off to raise the 
siege of Knoxville, and Sherman soon followed him. Burn- 
side met Longstreet some thirty miles south of Knoxville 
and fell back within its defenses. For ten days Longstreet 
sought to find the weakest point. At last, November twenty- 
ninth, he made an assault and was driven back. When about 
to make a second, there was placed in his hands a letter from 
Davis telling of the defeat of Bragg and the coming of 
Granger. The assault was not made; he started for Vir- 
ginia, and all East Tennessee, for the first time since the 
war began, was in Union hands. 

The battle of Chattanooga won and the enemy driven 
down to Dalton, the Army of the Cumberland went back to 
its old quarters around the town, and the South cried out 
for the removal of Bragg. Despondency and gloom, it was 
said, are fast settling down upon the people, who see their 
cause sacrificed by incompetent officers and no hope of any 
change. The President esteems General Bragg, and has con- 
fidence in his military ability; but the people have not, and 
unless they can see some prospect of a speedy change, they 
may despair of the cause, and the mountain region of East 
Tennessee, western North Carolina, and Northern Georgia 
and Alabama may submit to the despotism which incom- 


potency has brought upon them. For the sake of encourag- 
ing popular hope, reanimating the popular heart, keeping 
alive the fire^of patriotism, we implore the President to yield 
and dismiss incompetency from all commands. Why further 
compromise the cause and endanger the Gulf States by re- 
taining Bragg in command ? By yielding to the public wish, 
now almost an open outcry, the President will give a new 
impetus to the struggle for liberty which is still before us.* 
So great was the clamor that Davis gave way, removed 
Bragg, ajid placed General Joseph E. Johnston in command 
of the Army of the Tennessee. 

In Virginia, whither Longstreet had gone, the course of 
events was far from pleasing to either side. Lee, after his 
escape across the Potomac, went up the valley of the Shenan- 
doah, crossed the mountains, and took position at Oulpeper 
Court House. Meade's army entered Virginia east of the 
mountains and took position on the north bank of the Kap- 
pahannock. Two months of maneuvering followed "before 
the armies went into winter quarters with the Kapidau be- 
tween them. 

In the spring Grant joined the Army of the Potomac. 
Congress in February, 1864, revived the rank of Lieutenant- 
General, a rank never before bestowed on any one save 
Washington and Scott, and Lincoln, as was intended, gave 
it to Grant and appointed him commander-in-chief of the 
Union armies. He made his headquarters at Culpeper Court 
House, and began preparations for the coming campaign. 
Sherman, who became commander of the Military Division 
of the Mississippi, was to move against Johnston with 
Atlanta as his objective. Sigel, just placed in command of 
the Department of West Virginia, was to move up the Shen- 
andoah Valley. Butler, who since November was in com- 
mand of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 
was to bring the Army of the James up the James River and 
take Petersburg and Eichmond. The Army of the Potomac, 
under Meade, was, if possible, to destroy the Army of 
Northern Virginia under Lee. Sheridan was brought from 
Chattanooga and assigned to the command of two cavalry 

* Bichmond Enquirer, November 27, 1863. 


corps. Could Grant have had Ms way Banks would have 
moved "by land against Mobile to assist the navy to capture 
the city. Unhappily, he was then on his ill-fated expedi- 
tion up the Eed Eiver. A corps under Burnside, at An- 
napolis, was to act as a reenforcement and go wherever 
needed. Heretofore the armies had acted separately. Grant 
changed this and made all the forces east of the Mississippi 
one great army under his command. The Army of the 
Potomac was the center; the Army of the James the left 
wing; and all the troops between the Mississippi and the 
mountains of eastern Tennessee and as far south as Mem- 
phis and Chattanooga, the right wing. Troops further south 
became a force in the enemy's rear.* As one great army it 
was to move against the enemy on the fourth of May. 

That its strength might be maintained, and more than 
maintained, despite the casualties of war, Lincoln, on. the 
first of February, ordered that on the tenth of March there 
should be a draft of five hundred thousand three-year men 
less so many as had been drafted, or had volunteered, or 
might volunteer before the first day of March,*j* This, it 
was explained, was not a call for five hundred thousand 
men, for it was the consolidation of that of October for three 
hundred thousand with the present which was thus really 
for but two hundred thousand, with credit for all men ob- 
tained between the first of October and the first of March. 
It was no time for cavilling, for political dissensions, for 
complaints of inactivity or incompetence. The South was 
gathering strength for one last desperate struggle. The 
"Union must meet it. Davis was sweeping into the ranks 
of his traitorous armies every fighting man in the States 
which owned his sway. It was no longer a secret that in 
the next campaign the attempt would be made to carry the 
war to Northern soil. Should it fail, the rebellion would 
go hopelessly down. That it might fail utterly more men 
were needed in the Union army. Hence the call. $ 

* Grant, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, vol. iv, pp. 102, 103. 

t Papers and Messages of the Presidents, vol. vi, p. 232. 

$ New York Tribune, February 1, 1864. Also, Governor Morton to 
the People of Indiana, February 4, 1864; Cincinnati Commercial, Febru- 
ary 5, 1864. 


A Southern journal found much encouragement In the 
draft ordered for the tenth of March. Clearly the war spirit 
of the Horth, it said, has broken down. Draft has followed 
bounties, as bounties followed volunteering. First came pa- 
triotism, then money, and lastly force. These are the three 
features which characterize the war as waged by our enemies. 
Patriotism ran its course during the first year of the war, 
and expired with the failure of McClellan in the Peninsula. 
In the second year came bounties, which valued a Yankee 
soldier at about the price of a first rate negro before the war. 
Bounties in their turn are now "played out," and a draft 
has been resorted to, and will run its course and expire 
with the presidential election, or overthrow the party that 
has dragged men from their homes to continue a war of 
which the people are heartily tired. * 

While preparations for the draft were under way, they 
were interrupted by the passage of a new enrollment bill on 
which Congress had been busy for some weeks past. Negro 
men from twenty to forty-five years of age were to be en- 
rolled; quotas were to be based on the number of men liable 
for military duty and not, as heretofore, on population; 
deficiencies were to be made good by drafting; substitutes 
must be aliens or veterans. ]STo alien who had voted could 
be a substitute; commutation secured exemption only for a 
particular draft and in no case for more than one year ; mem- 
bers of religious bodies who would swear they were con- 
scientiously opposed to bearing arms and were forbidden to 
bear arms by the rules and articles of their faith were 
exempt; but when drawn were to be considered noncom- 
batants and assigned to hospitals, or to the care of freedmen, 
and must pay three hundred dollars for the benefit of the 
sick and wounded, f 

The draft fixed for the tenth of March was now put off, $ 
and a new one ordered for two hundred thousand more men 
for service in the Army, [Navy, and Marine Corps. The 

* Hichxnond Enquirer, February 6, 1864. 
t Act of February 24, 1864. 
$ Official Records, Series 3, vol. iv, p. 154. 

Messages and Papers of the Presidents, vol. vi, p. 235. March 14, 
1864, Official Records, Series 3, vol. iv, p. 181. 


call of February first, it was said, had not sent many new 
men to the army. Nine states had filled, and more than 
filled, their quotas under earlier calls. Credit given for 
veteran regiments that reenlisted had helped to fill quotas 
without adding a new man to the army. More troops must 
be had. As a means of getting them at once, the governors 
of five "Western states, as they had done in 1863, tendered 
Lincoln eighty-five thousand men to serve anywhere for a 
hundred days. During the past winter the enemy, they said, 
had been gathering his strength for the summer campaign. 
This the Government must meet with the greatest force it 
could bring to bear. A vast extent of territory, embracing 
many States and Territories, many thousand miles of sea 
coast, the whole length of the Mississippi had been wrested 
from the enemy. To hold this country and this long line of 
sea and river coast large stationary forces were necessary. 
Posts, garrisons, cities and towns situated in the midst of 
hostile populations and requiring for their defense a large 
part of the army were almost innumerable. Veteran troops 
occupying such posts might be relieved, and sent to swell the 
ranks of the army soon to take the field, by the hundred-day 
men who could garrison and hold the captured places.* 
Grant did not quite approve of accepting men for so short 
a time.f But Lincoln did, and the governors set about 
raising them. 

Drafting began early in May in such states as had not 
filled their quotas, but scarcely was it well under way when 
there appeared in the New York World and the "New York 
Journal of Commerce a proclamation calling for four hun- 
dred thousand volunteers. Dated at the Executive Man- 
sion, and bearing the names of Lincoln and Seward, it rec- 
ommended that May twenty-eighth be a day of fasting, 
humiliation and prayer, and in view of the expiration of 
terms of service of one hundred thousand troops, called for 
four hundred thousand men between eighteen and forty-five, 
and appointed June fifteenth as the time for beginning a 

* Governors of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, April 21, 
1864. Official Becords, Series 3, vol. iv, pp. 237-238. 
t Official Records, Series 3, yol. iv, p. 239. 


draft.* "No such document had been issued,, and when the 
truth concerning it came out it appeared that about three 
o'clock on the morning of May eighteenth a messenger who 
well counterfeited the regular messenger o the New York 
Associated Press visited all save one of the editorial rooms 
of newspapers in that city served by the Association, and 
delivered at each a sealed envelope containing a manifold 
copy of the proclamation. The lateness of the hour left 
no time for consideration of its authenticity, and the copy, 
cut into small pieces was given to compositors. At the 
Herald office the fraud was discovered after a large number 
of newspapers had been run off ; but they were not allowed' 
to go out. The World and the Journal of Commerce did not 
discover the fraud until the whole editions had been dis- 

Dix at once telegrapher! Seward asking if the proclama- 
tion was genuine.:}: He replied it was an "absolute forgery," 
and as it was steamer day held the Scotia and sent off dis- 
patches to Adams and Dayton. Stanton described it to 
Dix as a "base and treasonable forgery." Lincoln, in a state- 
ment to the public denied its authenticity, and Dix ordered 
the arrest of the editors, managers, publishers and owners, 
and suppressed the Journal and the World. \\ Stanton or- 
dered the arrest of the superintendents, managers and oper- 
ators, and seizure of the offices of the Independent Tele- 
graph Company in L T ew York, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, 
Baltimore and Washington, and of the Inland Telegraph 
Company at Pittsburgh, f and bade General Wallace seize 
all copies of the Journal and the World the moment they 
arrived in Baltimore.** The Associated Press offered a thou- 
sand dollars reward for evidence leading to conviction of the 
author.f f Tlie United States Marshal offered five hundred 

* Official Records, Series 3, vol. iv, pp. 386-387. May 17, 1864. 
f Statement of the editors of the Tribune, Express, Herald, Sun, to 
Lincoln, May 19, 1864. Official Becords, Series 3, vol. iv, pp. 392-393. 
tlbid., p. 387, 
8 Ibid., p. 388. 
|S Ibid, 

Hlbid,, p. 389. 
** Ibid,, p. 392. 
tf New York Herald, May 19, 1894. 


dollars and immunity to the messenger who delivered the 
envelopes if he would reveal himself.* The editors of four 
New York newspapers now appealed to Lincoln, stated how 
the fraud occurred, declared the editors and owners of the 
Journal and the World innocent of all knowledge of the 
proclamation until they read it in their newspapers, and 
asked for their release. Stanton, convinced that the author 
resided in Washington, had already revoked his order of 

Dix now announced that the author had "been found, ar- 
rested, and imprisoned in Fort Lafayette. He was a jour- 
nalist "known as Howard of the Times'' had made a frank 
confession, said his object was to affect the stock market, and 
exonerated the newspapers, the telegraph companies and 
all others concerned.^ The World and the Journal were 
thereupon given back their presses and property, and the 
officials and operators of the Telegraph Companies were 
released. But, for some days their offices were kept under 

Meantime the fourth of May had come and the grand 
advance of the armies had begun. Towards midnight on 
the third the Army of the Potomac left its winter quarters, 
crossed the Kapidan without opposition on the fourth, en- 
tered the Wilderness and camped at night on the battlefield! 
where, a year and a day before, Hooker met his crushing 
defeat. Early the next morning, about five o'clock, Le fell 
upon Grant's right. A desperate struggle between infantry 
followed. So dense was the tangled jungle of scruboaks, 
stunted pines and cedars that no officer could see the length 
of his command; that the oncoming of opposing lines was 
made known only by the noise of their passage through the 
underbrush ; $ that there was no room for maneuvers, no 
possibility of a bayonet charge, no help from artillery, no 
help from cavalry, only close fighting face to face. With an 

* New York Herald, May 20, 1864. 

t Dix to Stanton, May 20, 1864. Official Records, Series 3, vol. iv, 
p. 394. 

$ General Law, C. S. A. in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, 
vol. iv, p. 122. 


occasional lull the battle raged until after dark Grant in- 
tended to attack on the morrow, but Lee opened the battle 
soon after dawn, and another day of carnage followed. 
During fourteen hours, with a lull now and then, the fight- 
ing at close quarters, fighting by regiments, by brigades, con- 
tinued until darkness ended the Battle of the Wilderness. 
There was no fighting on the seventh. On the night of that 
day Grant set off for Spotsylvania Court House; but Lee 
reached it first, blocked the Union advance and another 
battle was fought on the eighth. Little was done on the 
ninth. On the tenth the fighting was more desperate than 
ever before. 

While Grant was fighting north of Richmond, Butler was 
moving toward it from the south. Carried on a fleet of old 
river steamboats, coasters, tugs, ferry boats, barges, schoon- 
ers, sloops, canal boats ? his army made its way up the James 
River to City Point and Bermuda Hundred, went a few 
miles inland, and built a line of entrenchments from the 
Appomattox to the James. In due time the army moved 
against the works at Drewr/s Bluff, was met by the Confed- 
erates under Beauregard, and was forced back to the line of 
entrenchments on the neck. Beauregard followed, en- 
trenched his army opposite this line, and Butler was harm- 

It was then the seventeenth of May. On the eighteenth 
a last effort was madeoto force the enemy's lines at Spotsyl- 
vania. Again the assault failed; the line could not be 
broken; more men were added to the tens of thousands killed 
or wounded since the army crossed the Rapidan, but nothing 
was accomplished. 

Grant now started for the ISTorth Anna River. Lee 
hastened thither by a shorter route, and reached the south 
bank before the Army of the Potomac appeared on the north. 
Unable to accomplish anything Grant slipped away one 
night and moved southward, fighting as he went, until he 
came to Cold Harbor, two miles from Gaine ? s Mill, where 
almost two years before Porter made his gallant stand. Some 
fighting followed on the first of June, but it was not until 
half past four on the morning of the third that the whole 


army moved against the Confederate trenches, five miles 
long, reached the works, fought desperately, and in less than 
two hours was repulsed with frightful losses. "I had seen 
the dreadful carnage in front of Marye's Hill at Fredericks- 
burg, and on the 'old railroad cut ? which Jackson's men held 
at the Second Manassas; but I had seen nothing to exceed 
this. It was not war; it was murder."* 

During ten days the army remained within its lines, then 
crossed the Ohickahominy and the James and started for 
the defenses of Petersburg. Lee was outgeneraled, lost touch 
with his enemy, and expecting an attack on Richmond from 
the south remained north of the James, while General Smith 
assaulted a part of the outer works around Petersburg and 
carried them. He might have gone into the town, for it was 
defended by but twenty-two hundred men.f But he did 
not and the opportunity was lost. That night Beauregard 
withdrew his troops from in front of Bermuda Hundred and 
sent them into Petersburg. Meade's army was then coming 
in fast, and on three days $ desperate assaults were made, 
but despite some gains the city was not taken. Had the 
army been what it was at the Eapidan the result might have 
been very different. But the great loss of superior officers 
and the thinning of the veteran ranks || by the slaughter in 
the Wilderness, at Spotsylvania, at Cold Harbor; the poor 
quality of the raw recruits sent to take their places ; days of 
continuous marching and fighting without victory had 
seriously affected the morale of the men and shaken their 
confidence in their commanders, ^f 

Lee by this time had entered Petersburg and the Army 
of the Potomac settled down to a long siege. 

In the course of the assaults the troops under Burnside 
gained a position close to the enemy's line and in front of a 

* General E. M. Law, 0. S. A. Battles and Leaders of the Civil 
War, vol. iv, p. 141. 

f Beauregard, Ibid., p. 541. 

*June 16, 17, 18. 

Life and Letters of General Meade, vol. i, p. 207. 

|| Be